Author Topic: Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims  (Read 3398 times)

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Offline Canmak

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Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« on: May 14, 2004, 08:11:54 PM »
Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims

Fri May 14,12:43 PM ET  Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!
 

By Shasta Darlington

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican (news - web sites) warned Catholic women on Friday to think hard before marrying a Muslim and urged Muslims to show more respect for human rights, gender equality and democracy.


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Calling women "the least protected member of the Muslim family," it spoke of the "bitter experience" western Catholics had with Muslim husbands, especially if they married outside the Islamic world and later moved to his country of origin.


The comments in a document about migrants around the world were preceded by remarks about points of agreement between Christians and Muslims but they seemed likely to fuel mistrust between the world's two largest religions.


The document said the Church discouraged marriages between believers in traditionally Catholic countries and non-Christian migrants.


It hoped Muslims would show "a growing awareness that fundamental liberties, the inviolable rights of the person, the equal dignity of man and woman, the democratic principle of government and the healthy lay character of the state are principles that cannot be surrendered."


When a Catholic woman and Muslim man wanted to marry, it said, "bitter experience teaches us that a particularly careful and in-depth preparation is called for."


It said one possible problem was with Muslim in-laws and advised future mothers that they must insist on Church policy that children born of a mixed marriage be baptized and brought up as Catholics.


If the marriage is registered in the consulate of a Muslim country, the document said, the Catholic must be careful not to sign a document or swear an oath including the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith, which would amount to converting.


DIFFERENT APPROACHES


The document highlighted the contrasting approaches the Vatican has taken in recent years toward Islam, which has emerged as a strong rival for souls, especially in Africa.


Pope John Paul (news - web sites) has broken ground in dialogue with Muslims and even prayed in a mosque in Damascus. He won plaudits in the Muslim world for his strong opposition to the Iraq (news - web sites) war.


But Vatican officials and leading Catholic prelates have expressed increasingly critical views about the spread of Islam and the challenge this poses for Catholicism.


The Vatican's top theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said earlier this week the West "no longer loves itself" and so was unable to respond to the challenge of Islam, which was growing because it expressed "greater spiritual energy."


The migration document also discouraged churches from letting non-Christians use their places of worship.


This issue arose last month when Muslims in Spain asked to be able to pray in Cordoba cathedral, which was once a mosque. A senior Vatican official said this would be "problematic."
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Offline JoeS

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2004, 10:13:52 PM »
Im not surprised by the Vaticans stand on mixed marriages to Muslims especially to Muslim males.  Does anyone know if when an infidel (non-Muslim) woman marries a Muslim male that she is compelled to become a muslim or else suffer the indignities of her inlaws?  And that all of her children is forced into becoming Muslims?  The timing of this release is the result of the ever increasing Muslim populations that are occurring in all western
European countries.  Rome could on day be a center for the Muslim faith in the west which would really be ironic.  

JoeS   :-[

Offline romanbyzantium

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2004, 11:24:31 PM »
Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, told the AsiaNews service that the Catholic Church could not agree to a demand advanced by Islamic leaders in Cordoba, who sought to use the city's cathedral for Muslim prayer services.



The prelate remarked that a cathedral cannot be regarded in the same way as an inter-denominational airport chapel. While recognizing that the building was first constructed as a mosque, the archbishop urged Muslims to "accept history" rather than trying to "take revenge" for the Christian conquest of Corboba.

Archbishop Fitzgerald pointed out that during his visit to Damascus in 2001, Pope John Paul II (bio - news) visited the historic Omayyad mosque-- a building which had originally been a Byzantine church. The Pontiff, he observed, recognized the historic change in the building's ownership, and "did not ask to celebrate Mass" in the former basilica.


Offline Father Peter

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2004, 05:05:02 AM »
Do the Byzantines have any rules about such marriages?

They would not be allowed in Coptic Orthodoxy. Nor indeed marriage with anyone other than an EO.

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Offline Brendan03

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2004, 08:11:46 AM »
I thought that EO is the same, you cannot marry a non-Christian.  I believe that this was *formerly* the Catholic rule as well, but has now been relaxed such that a Catholic can marry a non-Christian in the Catholic Church, but the nature of the sacrament is different.
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Offline jac109

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2004, 04:22:08 PM »
Do the Byzantines have any rules about such marriages?

They would not be allowed in Coptic Orthodoxy. Nor indeed marriage with anyone other than an EO.

I would expect such an attitude exists wherever Orthodox are a small minority, especially in a Muslim society. I read somewhere that Orthodox in Turkey assume a similar separatist attitude where they even avoid interaction with Muslims as much as possible. Its pretty obvious that without such an attitude, the Christian minority would be completely absorbed through attrition by the Muslim majority and eventually disappear.

Jennifer earlier objected to my recommendation that Christians should not become friends with Jews, but my position would be the same with Muslims also. The reason is not just theological, but also the recognition that familiarity and friendship will doubtless cause Christians being lost to the Church. Of course, one might counter that Muslims might just as well convert of Orthodoxy, but the present trend in the world is not in that direction. Christians are more often becoming Muslims and not the other way around.

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Offline Father Peter

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2004, 04:37:17 PM »
Hi jac09

I would rather have thought that it was a matter of the Traditionalist ethos of the Coptic Orthodox, as much as minority psychology. It is a matter of theology that precludes a Coptic Orthodox marrying a Muslim. How can a Muslim participate in the sacrament of marriage?

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Offline jac109

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2004, 04:48:18 PM »
Hi jac09

I would rather have thought that it was a matter of the Traditionalist ethos of the Coptic Orthodox, as much as minority psychology. It is a matter of theology that precludes a Coptic Orthodox marrying a Muslim. How can a Muslim participate in the sacrament of marriage?


That's true. And it may well be both. Theology is enough, but there also is the practical considerations too.

I look at my own parish where thirty years ago I'm told they had overflowing crowds for Liturgy, but now we're doing well to manage forty people and often it is fewer. I've seen as few as a dozen. No doubt a sizable amount of the loss was due to intermarriage and people joining non-Orthodox churches which naturally abound. When in a minority condition, the trend is usually for the minority to be absorbed by the majority. I think we must resist this tendency to survive.
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Offline Seraphim Reeves

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2004, 11:08:02 AM »
There was a time where only the most extraordinary of circumstances would have allowed the RCC to sanction the marriage of one of it's own to a non-Catholic Christian, let alone a Muslim or a Jew.  Frankly, the Pope's advise is "too little", and naive - naive, because no practicing Muslim would ever consent to raising his children as Christians.  While Islam allows Muslim men (never Muslim women) to marry Christians or Jews, and while in theory those wives are allowed to retain their religion, the children must be raised as Muslims.  Given this, you have two diametrically opposed positions - if a practicing Catholic marries a practicing Muslim, they'll be at loggerheads over the fate of their children.

Seraphim

Offline Father Peter

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2004, 11:13:35 AM »
And that is the same for my own Church. If I had converted when I was younger then I could have married an OO, or at a push an EO :) but I would have been under discipline if I had ignored the Church and married an RC or a Protestant. This is because the Church knows that ideally there should be harmony in a family and this is not likely if partners are pulling in different directions.
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Offline Brendan03

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2004, 11:22:00 AM »
It's also a sacramental issue ... it's a more problematic sacrament if one of the parties is not a part of the same church, and even more so if they are an unbaptized person.
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Offline Father Peter

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2004, 11:25:27 AM »
That is one reason I am a subdeacon. My complete unworthiness is another. But my wife is not Orthodox therefore it is not right that I should become a full deacon. let alone a priest.
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Offline JoeS

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2004, 12:03:23 PM »
I think you can find many examples of RC,OC marrying a (non-Christian)Jewish partners and their marriages working nicely.  I think most of the attention is directed towards marrying a Muslim.

JoeS  :)

I thought that EO is the same, you cannot marry a non-Christian.  I believe that this was *formerly* the Catholic rule as well, but has now been relaxed such that a Catholic can marry a non-Christian in the Catholic Church, but the nature of the sacrament is different.

Offline jac109

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Re:Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2004, 11:13:26 PM »
I think you can find many examples of RC,OC marrying a (non-Christian)Jewish partners and their marriages working nicely.  I think most of the attention is directed towards marrying a Muslim.

From what I have seen, its difficult enough when marriages involve Christians of different types, I can't imagine how or why a serious Christian would ever marry a non-Christian. Of course, if conversions happen after the marriage that's a different situation.

In any case, since the father/husband is the head of the family and has the main responsibility in religious matters, it would likely complicate matters if the wife is a non-Christian.
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