Catholics dating muslims
Catholics dating muslims - legal definitions of dating
On Saturday night, retreatants participated in an activity designed to get them thinking about boundaries.The couples were asked to split into four groups (Muslim women, Muslim men, Christian women, Christian men) to discuss and list negotiables and non-negotiables in the form of “I shall” and “I shall not” statements.
Yet all wrestled with the same concerns: different religious understandings of marriage (sacrament versus sacred contract, divine versus human institution), greater family involvement in mate selection and marriage, Islam’s proscription of dating, potential legal problems in countries with sharia (Islamic law) in force, greater cultural differences (and more difficulty distinguishing the religious from the cultural).
The few print resources available to pastors and couples are either outdated or written for a non-American context.
(The Canadian Centre for Ecumenism has just published an exellent document, Pastoral Guidelines for Muslim-Christian Marriages.)The dearth of resources, combined with the reluctance of many imams and pastors even to broach the subject, has left Christian-Muslim couples at a loss.
They were also asked to list their fears, rational or not.
Some fears: baptism of their children (Muslim men), moving to a foreign country indefinitely (Christian women); giving up the faith (Muslim women), being rejected by the husband’s family (Christian women).
But many may not realize how prevalent it is among Catholics.
A study by Creighton University’s Center for Marriage and Family in 1999 indicates that today roughly 40 percent of all Catholics marry non-Catholics.And Christian-Muslim couples truly are in need of especially sensitive and informed pastoral care.Reaction to such relationships can be strong, and many couples fear vehement disapproval from their families, ethnic group and/or society at large.On the one hand, Pope John Paul II has won plaudits in the Muslim world not only for his forthright opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq but also for his efforts at prompting dialogue with Islam, most notably when he visited a holy mosque in Damascus in 2000.On the other hand, the Vatican has long been worried about the threat posed to Catholicism by the spread of Islam, especially in Africa and Asia, while the Pope has many times denounced Islamic countries for denying Catholics the right to freedom of worship.It’s the core of our existence and identity,” they said.