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October 17, 1997     The Message
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October 17, 1997

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O_ ctober 17, 1997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 Promises regarding children in interfaith marriages By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN Catholic News Service Question: Our daughter is marrying a non-Catholic in December. He is a fine man, and goes to Mass with us whenever he visits. They are lnid-20s, bright young people. No complications!? We were so wrong. Our daughter wanted a Catholic marriage, her fly, C6 agreed. The problems began when they met - me deacon to begin their preparation. None of us knew our daughter would be required to sign a statement that she would raise their children as Catholics and that he must acknowledge this. He could riot agree to that at the present time. If this had not happened they would have mar- tied in the'church, and possibly the children would have been raised Catholic. Now neither of these appears likely. 1 Who won in this situation ost. (Florida) . It looks like we all accurAn..s.we.r:,Assuming your letter reflects the details rais=dly, it s clear that serious misinformation and At_uers!.andmg occurred somewhere. partnerCsr_amg !o present Catholic policy, Catholic m,- m a mixed-religion marriage affirm two "mements. - , j "--1. They will continue livin out their faith in esus Christ in the Catholic ChurCh, and ---- 2. They will "do all in (their) power" to share their faith with the children by having them baptized and raised as Catholics. First of all, it is worth noting that this adds noth- ing whatsoever to wha any committed Catholic, who is knowledgeable about the sacramental and prayer life of the church, already believes. To do all in one's power to raise the children Catholic is surely a sincere commitment, but it acknowledges that other critical factors may enter the picture. Among the most obvious of these is the commit- ment and obligations the non-Catholic partner may feel because of his or her own Christian faith, and which must be respected as well. Thus, the spouse who is not Catholic signs or promises nothing on this subject. The priest or dea- con assisting the couple affirms only that the non- Catholic is aware of the beliefs of the Catholic. Obviously, this is quite different from what your daughter says she experienced. The Catholic Church knows that differences in religious beliefs often cause unfortunate, sometimes tragic, tensions and divisions. It, therefore, wants to be sure these potential problem areas are faced and deaLt with before any marriage involving two religious backgrounds. As the official Catholic guidelines for ecumenism put it, the couple should "be invited and encouraged to discuss the Catholic baptism and education of the children they will have, and where possible come to a decision on this question before the marriage" (Direc- tory on Ecumenism, 1993; No. 150). Those words "where possible" recognize that agreement may not be possible until later. The same guidelines point to certain major con- cerns the Catholic will need to consider in all this. In carrying out the duty to transmit the Catholic faith, the Catholic parent "will do so with respect for the religious freedom and conscience of the other par- ent and with due regard for the unity and perma- nence of the marriage, and for the maintenance of the communion of the family" (No. 151). In other words, the church believes the stability and health of the marriage are among the major val- ues to protect when working out these decisions. I believe all this puts quite another perspective on what happened, or should have happened, with your daughter and her partner. Of course, if the non-Catholic refuses even to con- sider raising the children Catholic, a different element arises which the local bishop must weigh in judging whether a "just and reasonable cause" exists for per- mitting a mixed, or other interfaith, marriage. These Catholic policies may be found in the Code of Canon Law and, more extensively, in the Vatican's Directory on Ecumenism quoted above. A free brochure on ecumenism, inchating questions on intercommunion and other ways of sharing worship with people of other faiths, is available by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Holy Trini- ty Parish, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, Ill. 61701. (Questions may be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address.) ,,, , ............ .............. ........... | .... 'heresa to celebrate fiftieth ' eresa Church, Evansville, will celebrate s .fiftieth anniversary Saturday and Sunday, tt' 11 and 19. An Open House is scheduled Z'.. a COmmemorative quilt and a new sPa2nl ,a.l.rectory have been completed, and Ge'sj.Urgies are planned for all weekend St. Theresa is the first church to lished in the Diocese of Evansville. be estab- Aascec.Heal, Vincennes celebrates anniversary tion W,,.l,_ Mass of 2hanksgiving and recep- cenn,."'= held at Sacred Heart Church, Vin- laoon the seventy-fifth anniversary of the _,. g t the cornerstone, Oct 15 Bishop Ger- dlC[ A. Gettelfinger presided. " " St. John, centennial Vincennes, celebrating sesqui- dCu special celebration at St John the Baptist r da, Vincennes, will include Mass on Sun- Audt;trZu6mall a.m., and a banquet at Green er in the clay. ,uring Dubois County is schdlar, a Religious Heritage Church Tour 18 Ictu_ ecl in Dubois Count Saturday, Oct. ' reded are St Ferdl ' " MOnast&. I . 'nand Church and "Y mmaculate Conception in Ferdi- nand and St. Joseph Church in Jasper. Also on the tour are Salem United Chruch of Christ in Huntingburg, Shiloh Campground near Ireland, and St. Patti Lutheran Church in Haysville. Tour participants are asked to meet at Kordes Enrichment Center, Ferdinand, at 8:30 a.m. A fee of $20 per person will include lun- cheon at the K of C Hall in Jasper. Memorial feeder league play continues On October 5, Holy Rosary/St. John record- ed a 26 to 6 victory over Christ the King/Holy Spirit. Bryan Croce scored two touchdowns for the winners. David Haire scored for Christ the King/Holy Spirit. Also Oct. 5, St. Theresa/Good Shepherd defeated St. Benedict/Holy Name 20 to 0. Dan Jochem tallibd twelve points for the winners. On Oct. 12, St. Theresa/Good Shepherd defeated Christ the King/Holy Spirit 20 to 12. Dan Jochem scored two touchdowns for the winners. Evan Rice and John Brandt scored for Christ the King/Holy Spirit. In the second game Oct. 12, Holy Rosary remained undefeated with a 21 to 0 victory over St. Benedict/Holy Name. Aaron Staples scored twice for Holy Rosary/St. John. Next Sunday, Holy Rosary/St. John and St. Theresa/Good Shepherd will play for the league championship. (812) 254-2641 BUILDING FSB N Jr! WASHINGTON, IN 254-1430 TOLL FREE 1-800,-GMC-CHEV Shetler t  Storage Evansville, Indiana 812-421-7750 All You Care To Eat Buffet Dining 0000LIJUL BANQUET ROOMS AVAILABLE ,,,=,,=,at. PRE-ARRANGED AMISH TOURS FLEA MARKET EVERY TUES. & WED. 486-3977 Browse The Village Shops irl ustd off Hwy. 5o Every Monday Seniors receive 15% offl Montgomery, IN I Golden Jubllarians Richard and Helen fErny) Hochgesang will celebrate their fifti- eth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 26 at Holy Family Church, Jasper. A dinner for invited guests will follow at the Knights of Columbus Home. An Open House will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. The couple requests no gifts. They were married Oct. 21, 1947, at St. Joseph Church. Father Othmar Schroeder officated. Mr. Hochgesang is retired from farming. Living His Word d----------r1 A radio Bible teaching with / "' B Dr'2nnGn's WVHI 1330 AM  Mon.- Fri., ! 1:45 to Ncn Mon. - Sat., 5 p.m. "o" ' my feet and a ltit w mq path." our u,ord a a ram e to .. Psodra 119:105