Monday, June 14, 2010

Marriage with the Non-Orthodox

Q & A with Fr Job:
Question: I myself am Orthodox, but I am going to marry a girl who was Baptized in an Old Believer Church. Now she attends a Protestant non-denominational church, but she has not received Baptism there. After our engagement we’d like to get married, but in the Orthodox church we were refused, inasmuch as they don’t marry Old Believers; in the Old Believer church we were also refused, inasmuch as they don’t marry Orthodox. But the Pentecostalist “church” marries everyone without any question. My future wife said that she doesn’t want to be Baptized Orthodox, and I respect her opinion; in my turn, I also don’t want to be rebaptized.

I want to ask the question: how does the Church look on us being married by Protestants, and is this allowable in principle. And in general may a Protestant perform the Mystery of marriage?

Answer: Canon 72 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council strictly forbids an Orthodox person to marry a heterodox person. The Holy Fathers based themselves on the Christian understanding of the family as the most important life union in the goal of salvation. There is even a definition: the small Church. It is obvious that such a union can be built only on a spiritual foundation. Marriage is possible only under the condition of the sincere conversion of a heterodox person to Orthodoxy.

1 comment:

Kyralessa said...

Of course, the question then is: What is a heterodox person?

What I've heard from most priests is that they'll marry an Orthodox to a non-Orthodox Christian, but not to an unbeliever or a believer of a different faith (Judaism, Islam, etc.).