Can Catholics Marry Non-Catholics?

This article is written by Amy Thomas, author of the blog: Catholic Pilgrim.

Amy Thomas Can Catholics Marry Non Catholics

Amy Thomas, author and founder of Catholic Pilgrim, shares what the Catholic Church teaches about interfaith marriage.

She follows up official teaching with observations from her personal experience.

Amy gives wise warnings, sage advice, and examples from an array of mixed-religion marriages.

The following is an excerpt, and originally appeared on Catholic Pilgrim.

Q & A: Does the Church Only Allow Catholics to Marry Other Catholics?

A few weeks ago, I was asked about my thoughts on whether Catholics should marry people who aren’t Catholic.

Since I’ve been moving, I haven’t had the chance to really sit down and write my thoughts out. I’ve finally found a few moments between the boxes, painting, and organizing our new home.

First, I wasn’t Catholic when my husband married me.

He is a cradle Catholic, but neither one of us were living out our faith when we met. We called ourselves Christians, but I wouldn’t say we were practicing.

So, my first reaction is to say that I’m sure glad my hubby took a chance on me, a Protestant. However, I understand that things are a little more nuanced and marriage isn’t just about fluffy feelings and warm fuzzies.

Who you marry is very serious business.

People in our culture don’t take it serious enough and marry, often times, just because it “feels right.”

Secondly, it doesn’t really matter what I think, it matters what Christ and the Church think.

Christ didn’t specifically say in Scripture, “Thee may only marry other Catholics.”

So, we must rely on the Magisterium of the Church to give us guidance. Does the Church say that a Catholic and a non-Catholic can’t be married?

No, it doesn’t.

It doesn’t even say that you aren’t allowed to marry a non-baptized person. 


More important than the health of our bodies, is the health of our souls. Our souls are eternal, our bodies are not.

Anything that can cause peril for our souls is something to be avoided. Clearly, it’s hard for us humans to avoid every single thing that could harm our souls.

The Church warns against anything that could cause us to turn away from the Catholic Faith and its life-giving sacraments. To read what the Church says about this, you can read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in sections 1633-1637.

For this blog, however, I’d just like to offer up my musings. To be sure, I’m not a church authority figure, so my words should be taken with a grain of salt.

Continue Reading…

In the full post on Catholic Pilgrim, you can read Amy’s thoughts about 4 common types of family situations that result from Catholics marrying non-Catholics.

These include:

  • The Disappearing Catholic
  • The “It’s Easier This Way” Catholic
  • The Catholic With Confused Kids
  • The Lukewarm Catholic.

Well, that was all pretty doom and gloom, so is there any hope?

In her post, Amy talks about mixed-religion marriages that work out well. She also shares her own experience and Conversion in her marriage.

Amy’s concluding advice:

Do not settle your faith just to be married.

Do not assume that just because someone says they are Catholic that they are practicing. Do not think that religion is not a big deal in a marriage.

It is and not being on the same page is stressful.

If you are thinking of marrying a non-Catholic, talk with someone married to a non-Catholic and get their advice and perspective.

The most important thing is that we must never abandon the Catholic Church for anyone, no matter how much we love them. If you feel like a potential spouse will lead you from the Church, you can bet that God did not place that person in your life for you to marry.

God would never steer you on a path that leads you away from the Eucharist and the other sacraments.

So, again. Pray, discern, seek advice, and listen.

Read the entire post here.

Favorite Facebook Posts

Amy consistently posts moving reflections on Catholic Pilgrim’s Facebook page.

Make sure to check out her page, and make sure you’re following her to keep your social media feed full of quality Catholic inspiration.

Two top posts from Amy on Facebook:

Recently, on our cross-country move, I stopped in at a Starbucks. While waiting for my order, this younger guy struck up…

Posted by Catholic Pilgrim: Living Out the Faith on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Our culture doesn't like to see someone with too many kids. Sometimes, "too many" is even just one kid. Often times when…

Posted by Catholic Pilgrim: Living Out the Faith on Friday, July 20, 2018

About Amy Thomas

Amy ThomasAmy Thomas is the founder of Catholic Pilgrim.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and a Master’s in Applied Behavioral Science where she focused on sexual violence crimes.

She worked as a counselor/advocate at The Salvation Army Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center in Panama City, Fl.

She has given talks in high schools, police departments, mental health facilities, hospitals, and churches on the topics of dating, domestic and sexual violence.

In 2009, she converted to Catholicism and considers it one of the greatest blessings of her life. As one of her favorite Catholic writers, Matthew Kelly, says, “There is genius in Catholicism,” and she fully believes that this is true.

Becoming Catholic has been like opening up a treasure chest and she loves sharing her faith.

Catholic Pilgrim is a place for anyone who believes that there is more to life than what our culture offers us.

Find Catholic Pilgrim on:

Facebook – Instagram

Can Catholics Marry Non Catholics Amy Thomas

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2 thoughts on “Can Catholics Marry Non-Catholics?”

  1. “The most important thing is that we must never abandon the Catholic Church for anyone, no matter how much we love them.”

    And then there are people like me who were led to the Church because of their love. (Well, him and my best friend, who’s now my matron of honor haha.) <3

  2. Such a fine light right? My best friend was not a Catholic when she started dating her husband. She converted, her mother, sister, and brother in law all converted. They are obviously a success story. But there are also many other stories that don’t turn out so well.

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