FAQ-2 The Sacrament of Baptism

How should inter-church marriages (marriage between a Catholic and a Christian of another denomination) or inter-faith marriages (between a Catholic and non-Christian) be handled during the Baptism Preparation process?

If the parents were married within the Catholic Church, it is the Catholic parent who is obligated to fulfill the promise of raising their children within the Catholic faith and our Church.  The non-Catholic spouse need not be burdened with the obligation of overseeing that the child be raised in the Catholic faith. Therefore, only the Catholic parent is obligated to attend Sacramental Preparation classes. However, both Christian and non-Christian spouses married in the Church have confirmed that they understand their Catholic spouse’s obligation and as such will not interfere with that most important duty.

Our Parishes welcome and encourage the participation of the non-Catholic spouse in the preparation and celebration of their child’s Baptism.  Even though the non-Catholic spouse need not be burdened with the obligation of overseeing that the child be raised in the Catholic faith, the non-Catholic Christian spouse is certainly encouraged to participate fully, inclusive of renewing his or her baptismal promises. However, a parent unable to make the Catholic profession of faith may refrain from the profession of faith if they so wish. 

Note, the focus of this event is the Baptism of the child, not on any one spouse's religious beliefs.  Take care to ask necessary questions during your Initial Visit about raising a child in a mixed religion household if you and your spouse feel you need more answers.

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