I have found that many young couples who may not be that connected to their faith traditions think that the religious issue will not be a problem.Unfortunately, they don’t appreciate how these matters may crop up later to present very difficult challenges.For example, many people begin to rediscover the importance of a faith tradition when they start having children. The wedding ceremony, which in some ways is less important than the issue of children, should reflect the traditions of both because both are involved.This is sometimes more difficult for the Jewish partner than the Catholic, because on this issue the Catholic Church allows great freedom.This poses a dilemma for some priests who feel that by our taking part we are undermining our local colleagues.On the other hand, some of us see the value in keeping a connection with the couple by performing these marriages. On the issue of raising children, I repeat what I said earlier: A child cannot be a Jew and a Catholic at the same time.When people of radically different yet connected traditions marry, perhaps they are imaging a new way of viewing life.
In my experience, if there are major divisions over the religious upbringing of children before the marriage, then these issues will only be greater and more troublesome when the children arrive.
It also seems to me that we need to appreciate the good that can come from interfaith marriages.
In a strange sort of way, these marriages do remind us that God’s call for the human family transcends all religious boundaries.
You can be open to the other faith and appreciative of its values and traditions, but you cannot be both.
This truth is part of the limitation of life and part of the beauty of the diversity of the human experience.