Children of mixed marriages must be raised in the Catholic faith, European bishops stress

.- During the 7th Meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of Southern Europe, the Catholic bishops of that region said the Catholic party in a mixed marriage must have the “determination to not abandon the faith and to do everything in his or her power to baptize and raise his or her children in the Catholic faith.”

The bishops noted that mixed marriages are an “extremely lively” reality in southeastern Europe, where Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim faithful live together, and that “they are spreading all over Europe, as a consequence of a powerful migratory phenomenon.”

“The tradition of the Catholic Church,” their statement continued, “gives priority to marriages between Catholics, not just with a view to preserving and handing down the family’s faith, but above all in the interest of the married community itself.”

However, for right and appropriate reasons, “mixed marriages and marriages with differences in religion” are allowed, “provided the bride and groom state they are willing to stay away from the danger of abandoning their faith and commit themselves to do all they can for their children to be baptized and raised in the Catholic Church.”

Regarding marriages between Catholic and orthodox faithful, the bishops noted, “there is the fundamental foundation of a shared faith, but they do not share the same theological view of the sacramental nature of the marriage and as a consequence their approach to the value and stability of the marriage tie and divorce differs as well.”

The bishops also addressed the issue of marriage between Catholics and Muslims, emphasizing that such unions present a series of “problems and risks,” such as “falling into religious indifferentism, separations, dependency on families, impositions that are often placed on women, isolation from one’s ethnic group, loss of identity, problems in raising one’s children.”

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