The Bishops’ Conference of Italy has issued a statement discouraging mixed marriages, especially between Catholics and Muslims, citing the numerous problems such unions pose for couples.
“Because of the experience of recent years, we would advise against, or least discourage, mixed marriages,” the bishops stated, saying that such unions are “inherently fragile,” that mixed couples tend to disagree about “the religious education of their children” and that couples often have opposing views regarding “the role of women” and the very meaning of marriage.
“In addition to difficulties of each couple, Catholics and Muslims who wish to form a family encounter problems related to profound differences of a religious and cultural nature,” the bishops warned.
The statement calls for priests who celebrate such unions to seriously question engaged couples about religion, their knowledge of each other’s culture and the type of religious education they wish to provide their children.
In Italy mixed marriages have increased from 8,600 in 1992 to 19,000 in 2005.