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Barbara Rose wrote:

Hi, guys —

My friend is a Catholic and she wanted to marry a guy who just converted to the Islamic faith (to being a Muslim) but she doesn't want to convert.

  • Is it possible?
  • And can they have the wedding in the Catholic Church?

Barbara

  { Can a former Catholic who converted to Islam marriage my Catholic friend in the Church? }

Mike replied:

Dear Barbara,

Your Catholic friend certainly doesn't have to belong to any other faith other than the one she believes in. In Christianity, women are gems to be cherished, made in the image and likeness of God Himself. They are not considered property or trash to do whatever one wishes to do, as radicalized male Muslims appear to treat their women. I'm not sure whether your friend is aware of how seriously the Church takes the sacrament of marriage.

If her boyfriend just converted to the Islamic faith, he probably believes in many things that are contrary to what the Church believes, especially as it relates to some basic Christian beliefs, like:

  • freedom of religion and
  • freedom to join whatever faith one wishes without getting their head cut off.

If she wanted to marry in the Church, she would have to see a priest and get a dispensation from her local bishop. Her boyfriend would have to agree to your friend’s raising the children Catholic. The Muslim would not be making any promises himself, nor would he have to join our faith but he would be a witness to your friend’s obligation to raise the children Catholic.

  • Is your friend aware of this?

She may say that, he is in no way a radical Muslim but marriage is a life-time commitment.

  • How does she know he will not change on a dime and become radicalized?

I’m concerned about how seriously your friend takes her Catholic faith.

Your friend should talk to a faithful Catholic priest and get some guidance and counsel. They could marry in the Church but because there is a disparity of cult, (a marriage between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) a dispensation from the local bishop would be required.

Read this section from the Catechism and print out or copy and paste parts for your friend to read.

Mike

Barbara replied:

Hi Mike,

Thank you very much for your response.

I will take note on the key points you are explaining here but my friend’s case is different.

Her boyfriend was born Catholic and the reason for converting to the Muslim faith is that his first marriage failed but he cannot have it annulled due to financial matters.

He and his ex-wife are now good friends. His ex-wife wanted him to marry someone and she is trying to raise money to help her ex-husband be free.

God Bless,

Barbara

John replied:

Barbara,

If your friend is Catholic she cannot marry anyone that used to be a Christian and was married. It is presumed that a marriage between Christians is both valid and sacramental so for her to marry this guy, he needs to get annulment because in the eyes of God and the Church he is married to the first wife.

If there is no pre-existing defect that allows the Church grant an annulment he can't marry a Catholic without the Catholic facing excommunication so he needs to square away the status of his first marriage then she needs a dispensation from the bishop.

That said, I never recommend an interfaith marriages. Marriages between Catholics and non-Catholic Christians are tough enough but at least it's not an inter-faith situation.

For a Christian to marry a Jewish person is not as difficult as to a Muslim. Jews at least have the same understanding who God is as we do.

Muslims, although they worship the one God, have very distorted understanding of His nature and love for us. It creates real problems. Moreover, converts to Islam are usually very easily radicalized. They are likely to at least become fundamentalist and that spells:

  • trouble for bringing the children up Catholic and
  • trouble for her as woman.

Although all Muslims don't follow to their faith strictly, Islam has very little respect for dignity and rights of woman.

St. Paul also warns against being unequally yoked to an unbeliever. Islam is truly antithetical to the Gospel Message of the total self-giving God, who loves unconditionally, giving freely of His love for us. They take offense at calling God Father. God is strictly master in their faith.

Islam means submission and Muslim means slave.

This is very different from God giving Himself for us in order to give Himself to us, which is what Christianity teaches. To some extent that knowledge of grace also exists in seed form in Judaism but while Islam claims and does have some roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is severely distorted, not to mention the huge cultural difference that exists. Islam is not part of Western Civilization. The whole thought process is completely different.

Let me put it this way, before converting or reverting to Catholicism I was Protestant Minister.

There is no way I would ever perform a wedding between a Christian and Muslim. If a parishioner intimated an interest to marry a Muslim, I would have done my best to discourage it.

John

Barbara replied:

OK,

Thank you for the time spent answering the question. This explains the issues well.

I will relay what you said to my friend.

Barbara

John replied:

Your welcome Barbara.

It might not be what she wants to hear.

I will pray for her . . . that God gives her wisdom and direction. These things aren't easy as emotions, not to mention hormones, cloud our judgment.

Women make men stupid and Men make women stupid when we fall in love.

I don't mean that in a negative way but we tend to not consider all the things that need to be considered because our hearts yearn to be with the other person . . . and nothing else seems
to matter at that point.

John

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