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.
MIXED AND INTERFAITH MARRIAGES
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
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