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Can a relationship between a catholic and christian work if neither party is willing to...

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mazin87 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 30, 2008 at 5:24 PM via web

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Can a relationship between a catholic and christian work if neither party is willing to convert?

 Can a relationship between a catholic and christian work if neither party is willing to convert?

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cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted December 30, 2008 at 6:17 PM (Answer #2)

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Sure it can.  I have known many happily married couples with that and other cross-religious backgrounds. 

The primary issue that is likely to come up is if the couple decides to have children.  Many families deal with this by either raising the children in one of the two faiths or teaching them both.  However, if the couple cannot agree on some sort of compromise around this issue, there may be trouble down the road.  

Even apart from children, there could be issues if both people tend to be intolerant of others beliefs.  I would think, however, that this would be only one of several areas of conflict if that were the case. 

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 30, 2008 at 6:17 PM (Answer #3)

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This depends on so many variables.  First, how committed to your individual religions/churches are you?  Will you be willing to attend church at either a catholic church or the church of choice (Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, etc.) of the Christian?  What will you do when children arrive on the scene?  How will you rear them?  What beliefs will you impart to them?  What are your discipline theories with regard to your respective religions?

I believe that you can make this relationship work if you are 100% committed to one another.  Let's be honest, both of you are Christian, you just attend different churches...the age-old Catholic/Protestant debate which Elizabeth I and other monarchs of England, Spain, etc. have known so well.  It will be ten times better in your relationship than if one of you were a non-believer. 

My advice?  Go to pre-marriage counseling with a non-partisan counselor.  Think aloud through all the things that most people don't before marriage:  children, discipline, how important religion is to each of you, parental pressure for conversion, money, squeezing the toothpaste in the middle, etc.

Best of luck to you!

 

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted December 30, 2008 at 6:19 PM (Answer #4)

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The most important thing is to work out all the "sticky issues" beforehand. Consider things like children's educations, where you will attend service, what the wedding will be like, etc. Because there is so much in common between Protestenant and Catholic faiths, you should be able to find some common ground.

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 30, 2008 at 6:22 PM (Answer #5)

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This definitely depends on the couple. I come from a mixed-religion family, and my parents both held their own beliefs but allowed their children to make their own choices. Many parents will educate their children about both religions and allow the child to decide which religion (or religions) they would like to follow.

You'll often find that many of the beliefs and ideals line up in many religions, so it doesn't cause too many problems anyway. And often two people have conflicting beliefs in some areas of life, and they can still have a successful relationship, so religion shouldn't be any different.

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted December 30, 2008 at 9:08 PM (Answer #6)

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I think it is interesting that the distinction is *not* given as Catholic and Protestant. If it were, I would not think there would be too big a problem. The difference is instead Catholic and Christian. I have to think that the question asker is the "Christian", and does not see the Catholic person as Christian--true? In that case, it sounds like a world of trouble, frankly. I have a feeling the Christian in question is likely quite fundamentalist in their leanings, and is not going to be happy with an unconverted Catholic. But what do I know? If you can REALLY be OK with the other person never changing their faith, and don't have some idea that they will eventually "come around", go for it.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:19 AM (Answer #7)

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Well, Catholics are Christians, so there shouldn't be a problem. Seriously, lynn30k is correct that the distinction is between Catholic and Protestant. The ideal would be for both to worship the same way, but if they love each other they should be able to overcome differences. But they'll face more problems when children come along. Shoot--it might be easier for a Catholic and a Protestant to get along than for a Southern Baptist and a United Methodist!!

 

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mazin87 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:24 AM (Answer #8)

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I think it is interesting that the distinction is *not* given as Catholic and Protestant. If it were, I would not think there would be too big a problem. The difference is instead Catholic and Christian. I have to think that the question asker is the "Christian", and does not see the Catholic person as Christian--true? In that case, it sounds like a world of trouble, frankly. I have a feeling the Christian in question is likely quite fundamentalist in their leanings, and is not going to be happy with an unconverted Catholic. But what do I know? If you can REALLY be OK with the other person never changing their faith, and don't have some idea that they will eventually "come around", go for it.

You are absolutely correct I am a Christian and my mate is Catholic. I used to believe the religions to be about the same but the more we talk the more I see how different our views are and there are frankly some things I just dont agree with. And he is unwilling to convert. I dont want to break up, however its such a touchy topic for the both of us because both of us stand pretty strong in our faith so we keep putting the talk off, But I think we have some decisions to make before we get engaged.

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mazin87 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:31 AM (Answer #9)

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This definitely depends on the couple. I come from a mixed-religion family, and my parents both held their own beliefs but allowed their children to make their own choices. Many parents will educate their children about both religions and allow the child to decide which religion (or religions) they would like to follow.

You'll often find that many of the beliefs and ideals line up in many religions, so it doesn't cause too many problems anyway. And often two people have conflicting beliefs in some areas of life, and they can still have a successful relationship, so religion shouldn't be any different.

We have considered educateing the children on both beleifs, However I thought it would be too much on the children. Growing up the conflicting beleifs did not confuse you?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 1, 2009 at 1:28 AM (Answer #10)

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Absolutely.  There are many couples that have very successful partnerships that are Catholic and Christian.  In my opinion, the key is open communication about those beliefs and making sure that they respect each other's beliefs, even if they do not necessarily agree with them.  When a couple has children, they must decide how they will handle the differences in beliefs.  My ex-husband is Catholic and I am Christian...our children have attended both churches and once they get old enough, they will be given the freedom to choose what they would like to do...

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butterfly237 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 3, 2009 at 2:13 PM (Answer #11)

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yep

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sostrowski | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 5, 2009 at 6:47 PM (Answer #12)

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It is definitely possible for a Catholic and a Christian to have a successful, happy relationship, even if neither is willing to convert.  Catholocism is a more strict sector of the Christian church, but it is almost guaranteed that a Catholic and a Christian will have many very similar beliefs.  Because of that, they will see eye to eye about religion more often than not.  I think what is most important is the underlying principals of the religions, such as the belief in the good of mankind and the belief that we should treat others the way we would want to be treated are common threads that a Christian and Catholic in a relationship should highlight. 

Many children who are brought up as either or choose their own path when they are old enough to make their own religious decisions, whether their parents come from varying relgious backgrounds or not.  So I believe the parents should raise thier children with the belief that we should be good to our fellow man and the general beliefs that are underlying in BOTH religions.  From there, both parents should be happy with the way their child is raised, whether he/she chooses one of the two religions or not.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 5, 2009 at 7:02 PM (Answer #13)

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How is it that a Catholic is in contrast to a Christian when Catholics were the first Christians?  Perhaps you may wish to write Catholic and Protestant in your question to be more accurate as post #6 suggests.  

Catholicism and Protestant religions do not differ much in their fundamentals. The differences lie in questions regarding transubstantion, purgatory, and some of the sacraments in the Catholic Church such as the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Confirmation, and the Sacrament of Extreme Unction.  Other differences lie in the interpretation of the Bible. And, the Protestant must agree to allow children to be raised as Catholics. But, as post #12 comments, the moral  and ethical values can easily be common ground if the Protestant is willing to make some concessions and is not too culturally (e.g. practices, etc.) different in his/her own religion.

You may wish to refer to the following link which explains the differences between the two as well as giving the history of the Protestant Reformation. 

http://www.enotes.com/what-difference-between-christianity-catholic-11557

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted January 9, 2009 at 7:48 AM (Answer #15)

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If neither side is willing to 'give in', then I think you need to decide how why the differences between the two are important to you (and to be honest, you suggest Catholics aren't Christians so I don't think you've understand the differences very clearly) Is it such a big deal which building you attend? You worship the same God. You both believe Jesus is your guiding light. You both want to go to heaven. But you go to different dispensaries of the same belief. Which is more important to you; your partner or the history of Christianity? Really these are only historic political differences rather than spiritual ones. Is the Bishop of Rome's administrative supremacy over all his ecclesiastical colleagues more important to you than Love? Do you think Jesus would say it was? Does an endless hypothetical argument about the theosophical quality of a piece of bread mean more than your partner?

Imagine you both agree that Pizza is the best food ever, but you say Ham and Cheese Pizza is best and your partner thinks Ham and Cheese and Pineapple is best. Instead of eating separate pizzas for the rest of your life, can't you agree that they're both pretty good? Why don't you both go to your Church 50% of the time and both go to your partners church 50% of the time???

The differences between churches is a historic thing. To remain steadfastly fixed to one is to misunderstand how and why these schisms occoured.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted January 9, 2009 at 8:24 AM (Answer #16)

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PS... I think you should at least try attending each other's church services once or twice to see how similar or different your beliefs are. 

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dodzi | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 11, 2009 at 7:01 PM (Answer #17)

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Interesting, difference between catholics and christians? What is happening here? On less anybody can show me the difference,I don't think there is any problem. I believe the basic deniminator is the teachings of Jesus Christ, The Bible and fellowship. The last time I checked, they both ascribe to these three issues. Please lets learn to submit and love respectively as taught by the Bible. Shalom,Peace.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted January 12, 2009 at 8:40 AM (Answer #18)

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I also have known many couples who have varied faiths. Yes, it takes work, but no moreso than couples with varied financial or social backgrounds. One couple that I am very familiar with is comprised of a Jewish husband and a Christian wife. The kids attend their mother's church, but are intimately familiar with the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish faith. In the end, I suppose it just depends on how the couple handles it -- anything can be a big deal if you make it one, after all.

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pacsunchick021 | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 26, 2009 at 6:19 AM (Answer #19)

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I think it depends on the person more than the religion. It's the same as race. If a black person wants to be with a white person, they're different, but they can look past it. Same goes for religion. If you really want to be with someone who's different from you, look past the differences.

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