"Mixed Marriages"

Luther W. Martin
St. James, Mo.

"Do not unite in marriage with unbelievers, for what fellowship has righteousness with iniquity? Or what mingling has light with darkness? Or what accord has Christ with Satan? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever? Or what harmony has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as it is said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, saidthe Lord (II Cor. 6:14-17, Lamsa's Translation.)

The Apostle Paul saw fit to warn God's children in New Testament days, just as Israel had been prohibited from inter-marrying with the nations surrounding her. Although Israel disobeyed God, and finally was destroyed as a chosen people of God, many of us who claim to be Christians today, fail to profit and benefit from 'the things written afore-time' which serve as examples of the manner of God's dealings with man.

Some Roman Catholic Statistics

The Catholic Directory indicates that 30% of all "Church marriages" are "mixed," that is, one is a Roman Catholic and one is a non-Catholic.

A faculty member on the staff of the University of Notre Dame, John J. Kane, has found that in one Catholic parish, 60% of the children born to Catholics in "mixed" marriages will never be baptized Catholics, while 97% will never go to a Catholic school.

A survey prepared over a fifteen year period by Notre Dame has produced the following information: (1) The offspring of parents, both of whom are Catholics, will retain their religious upbringing after they become adults . . . about 92 out of 100 . . . or 92%. (Although not necessarily remaining Catholics.) (2) If both parents were Protestants, only 68% retained their religious upbringing. (3) But, if one parent was a Catholic and the other was a Protesant or (non-Catholic), only 34% retained religious belief.

In a "mixed marriage" where the mother is the Catholic party, about 60% of the children become Catholics. If, however, the father is the Catholic, then only about 25% of the children become Roman Catholics.

Roman Catholic Teaching Concerning "Mixed" Marriages

"MIXED MARRIAGES. - By mixed marriages we understand all marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics, whether the latter be baptized or not. For many grave reasons the Church abhors and forbids mixed marriages under the pain of moral sin. . . ." (Mission Book of the Redemptorist Fathers, 364-265.)

"May a Catholic marry a non-Catholic?" Answer: "A Catholic may not marry a non-Catholic, unless there is a very serious reason." (A Catechism for Adults, By Sogan, page 86.)

"Who is the only one that can allow a mixed marriage? Answer: "The Bishop is the only one who can give permission for a mixed marriage, and he can give such permission only for a very serious reason. (Ibid. page 87.)

"In a mixed marriage, what must the non-Catholic promise? Answer: "In a mixed marriage, the non-Catholic must sign promises 1) not to interfere with the Catholic's practice of religion, 2) to see to it that all the children be baptized and be brought up as Catholics, and, 3) to observe the laws of God and of the Catholic Church concerning marriage, and 4) not have any ceremony before or after in the presence of a nonCatholic minister." (Ibid. page 87.)

"Even when the prescribed promises are made, the Church so abhors such marriages, that she positively forbids them to be honored with any religious ceremony whatever It is a very grievous sin and a great scandal for a Catholie to contract a mixed marriage without dispensation. Moreover, if a Catholic marries before an heretical minister, he is excommunicated, and his marriage is null." (Redemptorist Mission Book, 267.)

Truth Magazine I:3, 14-15
December, 1956