Theme: Is it a sin to marry an unbeliever?
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 by Ruth McDonnell

Dear Alphie,
I am in love with an unbeliever. Is it a sin to marry him?
Signed, Judy

Dear Judy,

Let me make 3 quick statements:

1. Every human being is created in the image and likeness of God.
2. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift….. not given to everyone.
3. The Code of Canon Law sets out the rules and regulations for celebrating a marriage betwee a Roman Catholic and a non-baptized person.

So, the short answer to yourquestion is that there is no sin in marrying a non-believer. However, one would want to move cautiously.

If you enter into a marriage with a non-believer you need to recognize that there is an important aspect of your life that you cannot share with your spouse.

Second, you want to be assured that your spouse will allow you the necessary freedom to practice your faith.

Third, you will need to resolve the question around any children in the marriage. Will your spouse have an issue if you want to have children of the marriage baptized? Is your future potential spouse willing to learn about the faith and why it is important to you?

My advice to you is to find a priest with whom you and your potential future spouse can have a discussion about all the issues that need open and honest dialogue before a decision for marriage can be made.


A.k.a. Fr. Doug