Catholics dating muslims
Catholic-Jewish couples, because of their greater number and longer history in American society, have a growing list of resources, including books, Web sites and support groups like the national Dovetail Institute and the Chicago-based Jewish Catholic Couples Group.
But there are practically no pastoral resources for Christian-Muslim couples in the United States, despite the fact that according to many estimates, there are now more Muslims in this country than Jews.
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.
It attracted a diverse group—Christians diverse according to denomination (Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist), Muslims according to ethnicity (Egyptian, Indian, Thai, American-Polish-Pakistani).
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).
While addressing these topics with Christian and Muslim experts was necessary, couples agreed that one of the best aspects of the weekend was the chance to discuss their concerns with others in the same situation.
What follows is a brief exploration of three major challenges facing Christian-Muslim couples, and indeed most interfaith couples: negotiating boundaries, praying together and raising children.
“But in the end, neither of us was willing to give up our faith.
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.