Vatican Discourages Catholics from Marrying Muslims

May 14, 2004

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On May 14, 2004 The Houston Chronicle ran an article from The New York Times that reported, "In an official church document released Friday, Vatican officials discouraged marriage between Roman Catholics and Muslims -- especially Catholic women and Muslims. When 'a Catholic woman and a Muslim wish to marry,' the document says, 'bitter experience teaches us that a particularly careful and in-depth preparation is called for.' It also says 'profound cultural and religious differences' exist between the two faiths, particularly concerning the rights of women, who are referred to as 'the least protected member of the Muslim family.' The document, written by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, sets these issues in a context of globalism and easy travel that encourages the mixing of religions. Although it makes no mention of conflicts in the Middle East, its release comes at a time of heightened anger in the Muslim world. The document indicates several points of commonality between Catholicism and Islam, like a belief in God, daily prayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage and 'the fight against injustice.' At the same time, it gently chides Muslims for faltering on the issue of human rights."