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Meg wrote:

Hi, guys —

My boyfriend and I have been together for a few of months. He is a Traditional Roman Catholic who practices his faith while I was baptized a Lutheran but don't practice the faith.

Lately we have been discussing Marriage, as a couple of our friends are engaged, and I am wondering if we can get married. I said I would look into conversion but I don't think it's right for me and if I did convert, it would be for him.

My parents were each married before one another and my Uncle, who belongs to my boyfriend's Church, has forbidden my parents to come into their home together; my parents would be heart-broken if I converted to his Church because of this type of judgement.

Not everyone in his Church shares these judgements, however my family can't see past that.
I know his parents would be crushed if I didn't convert. One of the first things his mother ever asked me was if I was converting. I don't want him to ever give up his beliefs for me, as that's apart of who he is, but his beliefs just don't fit into mine. This is the only part of our relationship we have any difficulty with, but we seldom talk about it and he doesn't know whether the Church would marry us.

I already know that's wrong, but I'm not sure how to approach the conversation in a more serious manner.

  • I suppose what I am asking is, would the Church allow us to marry?
  • If so, then I don't see why we couldn't make it work out, each believing what we really believe.

Thank you kindly for your advise.

Meg

  { With these family issues and judgments, would the Church marry us even if I don't convert? }

Mike replied:

Dear Meggy,

Sure you can get married!

The Church would never want you to convert to the faith unless you wanted to. Everyone on your boyfriend's side of the family should feel this way and your parents should be made aware that this is what the Church teaches. We are not Muslims; we don't force people to believe in our faith. Any kind of heavy push from your boyfriend's side of family is wrong and totally inappropriate because it does not respect your free will. You are welcome to marry your boyfriend in the Catholic Church, but he has to marry according to form.

This posting explains it pretty well:

You said:
My boyfriend and I have been together for a few of months. He is a Traditional Roman Catholic who practices his faith while I was baptized a Lutheran but don't practice the faith.

Lately we have been discussing Marriage, as a couple of our friends are engaged, and I am wondering if we can get married.

I think it's great that you have found a possible lifetime mate to marry but a few months is not very long to be dating and you certainly don't want to make rash decisions based on conforming cliques like "our friends are engaged."

You said:
My parents were each married before one another and my Uncle, who belongs to my boyfriend's Church, has forbidden my parents to come into their home together.

I can't address the immature attitude coming from your Uncle but it is safe to say he needs prayer.

You said:
I don't want him to ever give up his beliefs for me, as that's apart of who he is ...

He should feel the same way about your beliefs.

You said:
This is the only part of our relationship we have any difficulty with, but we seldom talk about it and he doesn't know whether the Church would marry us.

It's also one of the most important parts of your relationship.

  • Why?

Because the love both of you express for each other in the conjugal embrace is manifested in the children you bring forth. There are many differences Catholics and Lutherans have on Christianity that should be discussed. If you have specific Catholic topics that confuse you, you can search our knowledge base for answers.

It's important for any Christian couple thinking of getting married to talk about faith issues
up-front. They should have open, honest, conversations on what morals they want their children to be raised with. It's far better to have faith and morals conversations now, then later, when other issues may arise.

While there are differences between Lutherans and Catholics, there have also been recent agreements between the two Churches on significant issues like Justification.

From LutheranWorld.org

From the Vatican web site

Once again, you don't have to join the Catholic faith to marry your boyfriend but he has to marry according to Catholic form.

If down the line, you ever ponder joining the Church, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

If you, or any visitor, has been helped by our work at AskACatholic.com, consider financially supporting us today.

If there are any questions I didn't answer just follow-up.

Mike

Meg replied:

Mike,

Thank you very much for your quick response. I will have to look at the links, and should I have any more questions I will ask.

We've only just begun the serious conversations about marriage, which is why we don't talk about it very much. It also it difficult to bring it up.

I really do appreciate your comments, and again thank you for your quick reply. It gives me courage to have these conversations with him more easily.

Thank you kindly,

Meg

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