From a reader…
Hello Father, i have a question about interfaith marriages. I’m Muslim and the woman I’ve been thinking of marrying a nondenominational Christian, but she fears it is sinful, there is a verse that suggests not to be unequally yoked with a nonbeliever, but i argue that Muslims are believers, for the reason we believe in Jesus Christ, and God with the capital G. I would love to hear your interpretation of such issue.
GUEST PRIEST RESPONSE: Fr. T. Ferguson
I can only speak from the Catholic perspective. A marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person can only be allowed if the bishop grants a dispensation.
This is out of a recognition of the great difficulty (not impossibility) of the success of a marriage between one person who believes that Jesus Christ is the sole source of salvation, and the Sacraments of the Church are the vehicle used to effect that salvation for a believe, and another person who does not believe this.
How is this disagreement solved in a marriage? By avoiding the issue? By constant bickering?
Moslems may “believe” in Jesus Christ, but they do not believe Him to be the only begotten Son of God, nor do they believe Him to be the sole source of salvation, otherwise they would not be Muslims.
Christians and Muslims also have strong differences in their understanding of marriage.
Muslims believe that the marriage contract can be voided. Either party is free to seek divorce. Christians (though many denominations have neglected this teaching) accept Jesus’ teaching that marriage is binding for life.
Those two very different understandings of the nature of marriage would seem to make a marriage between these two people difficult at best.