Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  317 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 317 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

Chapter 21. The Sacrament of Marriage • 289

long union or were placing unacceptable conditions on the marriage (cf.

CCC, nos. 1628-1629). Once a declaration of nullity has been granted, if

there are no other restrictions, one or both of the parties are free to enter

a sacramental marriage in the Catholic Church.


The term

mixed marriage

refers to a union between a Catholic and a

baptized non-Catholic. With appropriate permission, a Catholic can

marry a baptized non-Catholic either in the Catholic Church or a non-

Catholic church. In the first case, a non-Catholic minister can be present

for the ceremony just as the Catholic priest can be present in the non-

Catholic church with the permission of the bishop.

It is clear that there are differences because of diverse religious tra-

ditions, but these differences can be lessened when the spouses share

what they have received from their respective traditions and learn from

each other how they fulfill their fidelity to Christ. “But the difficulties of

mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact

that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome. The spouses

risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of

their own home” (CCC, no. 1634).

A marriage between a Catholic and a non-baptized person, which

is an


marriage and is not a sacramental marriage, can present

even greater problems for a marriage. Nevertheless, the very differences

regarding faith can be enriching for both spouses and, through God’s

grace, can lead them closer to him.


1. How does the modern, secular view of marriage and the family

affect your own family relationships? How do you resist forces that

can weaken marriage?

2. What support for your family are you receiving from relatives,

friends and your local parish? In what ways is your family a “domes-

tic church”? How and when do you pray with your spouse? How