I have four children, in their twenties, three girls and one boy. All the girls married non-Catholics (who have agreed to raise the children in the Catholic Church and they all attend mass weekly so no complaints there.) Our pastor performed all three ceremonies. Here is the question: the first two grooms had to provide their baptismal certificates from their Protestant churches . My third son in law is un -churched , and not baptized. Shouldn’t our Pastor have required the groom to be baptized before the wedding?
Catholics should marry Catholics.
That’s the Church’s teaching, and also a practical reality.
The Church permits Catholics to marry baptized non-Catholics under certain circumstances. The bishop, following the recommendation of the Catholic pastor and his assurance that the circumstances warrant it, can give permission for Catholics to marry baptized non-Catholics. For a Catholic to marry someone who is unbaptized, or questionably baptized, greater vigilance is required. The bishop can also grant a dispensation to for a Catholic to marry a non-baptized person.
It seems that the pastor has been doing the right thing here. Check the paperwork. Make sure that the Catholic party will be permitted to continue to live a Catholic life and raise any children from the marriage in the Catholic faith. With the first two, a permission for mixed marriage (Catholic – baptized non-Catholic) was probably granted. In the third situation, a dispensation for “disparity of cult” (Catholic – non-baptized) was probably granted.
Hopefully, by the witness of your family leading an exemplary Catholic life, praying before family meals, making the Faith a priority in your lives, regularly (not obsessively) conversing about holy things, speaking respectfully of Church authorities and Church teaching, having holy pictures, statues around the house, drinking Mystic Monk coffee, reading Fr. Z’s Blog – all that good stuff – your in-law will be inspired and prompted by the Holy Spirit to convert.