“Ask a Priest: Would Marrying a Muslim Affect My Salvation?”

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Q: I am a Catholic. What would it happen with my salvation if I get married to a Muslim man? We are older and have grown-up children from previous marriages. – A.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: The fact that you are asking whether marriage to a Muslim could put your salvation at risk should make you pause and take this to prayer.

The Holy Spirit might be nudging you to put on the brakes and to think things through a little deeper.

You might ask yourself how well you can live your faith with a non-Christian, and whether and how much he would tolerate your practice of your Catholic faith in the long run. Marriage is difficult enough; being able to share the same faith with a spouse can enhance the chances for a happy union.

There are other factors, too.

For instance, how would it affect the faith of your children and grandchildren to see you married to a non-Christian? Would they think that “all religions are equal”?

You mention previous marriages. Are your ex-spouses still alive? If so, both of you would need to get annulments from the Church.

Also, marriage to a Muslim would require a special dispensation from your bishop. These dispensations aren’t automatic, so you might want to speak with your pastor now.

Two numbers from the Catechism are worth quoting here:

Mixed marriages and disparity of cult

1633 In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a nonbaptized person) requires even greater circumspection.

1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage, when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities, and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ. But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome. The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home. Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties. Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise. [end quoted material]

That mention of religious indifference is something to consider seriously. It can affect a person’s salvation.


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