“I am a catholic, wanting to marry a bahai, can that happen without either of us converting?
We are worried about problems occurring later in life if we decide to get married. Is there any way that we could marry each other and neither of us have to convert?”
On the Catholic side, talk to your priest. I that doesn’t work, talk to a different one! Seriously, there are some points about raising children that you need to work out between you – but when a child is born, things may work out differently. You can tell each other where you stand now, but a child changes you, and both. What seems a big deal now may not loom so large compared to an actual baby with his/her own personality, in your arms.
On the Bahai side, you don’t need to convert. You will need to have a Bahai ceremony on the same day as the Catholic and/or civil ceremony, and you will need permission from all living parents. The background to this is in Islamic law, where a woman marrying for the first time (or in some schools of law, at any time) is required to have permission from her father or grandfather. Baha’u’llah turned this upside down rather than abolishing it: he gave the mother the same status as the father, and said the groom needs permission too! In other words, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Apart from making a dramatic point about the equality of men and women, the Bahai law is also designed to preserve unity between the families and therefore increase the chance that the marriage will survive. It gives the in-laws no excuse to grumble after the fact.
And that raises another issue: maybe the first people you should talk to are your families. If they start out by hating the idea and work against it all the way, that will be another strain on the marriage.
Don’t be too frightened by the number of Catholic mixed marriages that fail; the relevant statistic would be the proportion of Catholic-Bahai marriages that succeed.
Have a look at “Romeo and Juliet” on my blog at
It was written for a Bahai wanting to marry a Christian. If you think she would like it, show it to her.
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