Dating a priest

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It may seem disconcerting, but could it not also be a call to greater religious harmony? I would like to offer a few points for reflection based on my 30 years of experience as a priest who has been involved in many interfaith weddings.

These points don't exhaust the issues, but do illustrate some of the areas that need to be addressed. All decisions about ceremony and children need to take second place to the love relationship of the couple.

The Church recognizes that there may be cases in which the children will be raised in another faith. It is always a greater challenge when both parties are well connected to their faith.

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This was true also when Catholics married other Christians. Canon Law today requires that the Catholic parties promise that they will not give up their faith due to the marriage and that they will do "what is in their power" to share the Catholic faith with their children.In my experience, if there are major divisions over the religious upbringing of children before the marriage, then these issues will only be greater and more troublesome when the children arrive.It also seems to me that we need to appreciate the good that can come from interfaith marriages.If that is weakened, then no matter how the children are raised, they will not benefit from the strong love of the couple. You cannot be a Jew and a Christian at the same time.You can be open to the other faith and appreciative of its values and traditions, but you cannot be both.

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