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T.K. wrote:

Hi, guys —

My boyfriend and I are talking about getting married next year.

I was born and raised in North America, as a devout Catholic, but my boyfriend is a Buddhist and his mother is a Mudang — a female shaman.

He explains that this is traditional Korean culture and so I am studying about it but have no plans to abandon my faith.

  • He is attending Sunday Mass with me
  • has agreed to go to Catechism classes
  • has promised that I can continue my faith and raise my children in the Catholic church but cannot promise that he will absolutely get baptized.

His parents have also given us consent.

  • Is it a sin to consider this union since his mother is a shaman?

I know that I will be causing my family great pain, but if it is valid in the eyes of God, then I believe that with prayer and effort, God will guide us down the right path.



  { Is it a sin to consider this union since his mother is a shaman? }

Bob replied:

Dear T.K.,

The union would not be a sin and you are free to marry. That being said, it may pose difficulties you are not even aware of.

Pray fervently that God leads you to a decision that is in keeping with His Will for you both. If your boyfriend is open, he could convert and that would be the best scenario. Ultimately, you are not responsible for his mother's choices but you could witness to her as well.


Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear T.K.,

I just wanted to add a bit to Bob's fine answer. As he said, you are free to marry.

The only one making any promise to raise the children Catholic is the Catholic to-be-spouse.

The non-Catholic spouse is only a witness to the promise the Catholic spouse has made. Though they do not have to become Catholic, many do for the sake of a faith unity within the growing Catholic household.

If a non-Catholic is interested in learning more about what we believe they can find a low cost Catechism on Amazon.

Hope this helps,


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