Should I have been told not to have children if my husband refuses to raise them Catholic?


Full Question

I am married to an ex-Catholic, now a non-Christian. I have been told that I should not have children if my husband refuses to raise them Catholic. Is this true?

Answer

You have been misinformed. The Church does not expect you to close yourself to the possibility of children simply because your husband is not Christian. The Church expects you to do the best that you can to raise your children Catholic. If your husband was Catholic at the time of your marriage, then he should respect the fact that the two of you went into marriage with the agreement that the children would be raised Catholic. If he was not Catholic at the time of the marriage, then you took a chance that he would allow you to raise the children Catholic and would not interfere in their Catholic education. This is one reason the Church strongly discourages interfaith marriages (while providing for their validity if the couple insists on marrying each other). Marriage includes the responsibility of being open to new life and open to building a family with your husband. You should not deny him the privilege of children of his own based on what you think he might do should they come along. Instead, you should sit down with him now, share your concerns, and seek to work out with him an agreement on how your children will be raised. If need be, a marital counselor can facilitate the discussion.


Michelle Arnold