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Catholic Dictionary




A marriage between a professed member of the Catholic Church and one who is not a Catholic. The mainstream of Roman Catholic tradition on mixed marriages is to discourage them, while recognizing that such marriages are inevitable in pluralistic societies. Two reasons are commonplace as to why the Church discourages mixed unions: the risk to the faith of the Catholic party, and the danger that the children will not be brought up in the Catholic Church. Since the Second Vatican Council the Church has drastically revised her legislation regarding mixed marriages, notably in 1966 and 1970. There is greater leniency on the permission for these marriages, but no change on the basic concern to preserve the faith of the Catholic partner and ensure that all the children baptized and reared in the Catholic Church.