isn't dating non-christians a sin
#1
So I'm becoming Catholic, I've been going to mass for like 7-8 months now, never been baptised or confirmed in anything before so I guess I'm not *actually* a Christian yet. I've noticed Catholics seem to be so chill about dating either non-catholics or just non-religious people. I went a slightly fundie baptist church before becoming here and dating non-christians was pretty much viewed as a sin. I've asked some at my parish at they said it's fine. On Catholic forums, reddit etc. people seem to be fine with it. I'm confused as. Doesn't the bible say to marry "in the Lord" and to not be "unequally yoked"? 
is this just a liberal Catholic view or are trads ok with it too? what's the logic?
maybe because marriage is to get your spouse to heaven? (I've never heard protestants that phrase for marriage) but you shouldn't try to change them though or "missionary date"...  :-/
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#2
Congratulations on coming into the Church (soon hopefully)! 


Others here can give a more thorough response, but the short answer is you're right--this is a liberal view. 

If you want to see what the standard Catholic viewpoint was 100 years ago before hierarchy and laity alike began to accept the idiocy that having fundamentally different worldviews and values would help make for a harmonious marriage and family life (or at least somehow be significantly irrelevant to a happy union...), then see this Catholic Encyclopedia article on "mixed marriages" here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09698a.htm
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#3
An even simpler way to think about dating and marriage is to see it's purpose.

Marriage is primarily for the procreation of children, hence why proper sexual relations are licit only in marriage. These actions tend towards procreation, so are reserved for the union which is meant to create a stable environment for these children. There are secondary ends of marriage, like the calming of our passions, and mutual support and love, etc. but those are secondary.

Dating is for marriage. 

In dating, one exposes himself to relatively near occasions of sin, because two people of the opposite sex who are romantically interested in each other will naturally also have a sexual attraction as well. That attraction needs to be restrained until it can be used properly in marriage. To do that one has to be very careful and virtuous. This occasion of sin is an occasion that risks serious sins with serious consequences, and exposes the couple to a very easy occasion of such sin. It is necessary in Western society, however, to go through this dating ritual to find a partner, though. So a couple who is dating needs to take the needed means to guard themselves against these sins.

This will mean they do not date for a very long time, avoid spending time alone together (especially in private), and get a chance to see the faults and strengths of each other and what dangers and benefits there will be for themselves and their children in the future.

To date without the intention to marry is a serious sin, because it is using something meant to prepare for marriage for "fun" and willfully and unnecessarily exposing oneself and another to the occasion of grave sin for no reason.

To date someone who is not of the same Faith with the intention to marry is at least a serious danger to self and children, so can easily become a serious sin. It is one thing if there is a hope of conversion in the near future, and the promise of the non-Catholic party to protect and support the Faith of the Catholic party and the children, but it's already a bad start, and even then there are serious risks. Doing so without a serious reason and without hope of conversion would be a serious sin. 

If both parents are practicing Catholics, about 60 percent of the children will keep keep their Faith. If one parent is Catholic and the other is Protestant only 29 percent remain Catholic, 38 percent become Protestants, and 26 percent apostasize. If one parent is Catholic and the other not a Christian, 20 percent become Protestant, and 42 percent apostasize. So says a study by the Pew Research Center.

So in short, it is not necessarily a sin for a Catholic to date a non-Catholic, but usually is, because rarely is the danger overcome by other considerations, and rarely is there a conversion in process, or to be hoped for soon.

It would not be as much of a danger if a Catechumen and Catholic were dating and waiting for the official entry into the Church to marry.

On another note, though, glad to hear you're coming home to Rome. You may not yet be Baptized, but if you are taking instruction and intend to enter into the Church it must be because you accept the Truth of the Catholic Faith. That does not make you a member of the Church, only Baptism does, but if you believe and accept what the Catholic Church teaches because God has revealed it through Her, then you are a "Christian", and you most likely have been given the supernatural gift of Faith by God. In fact, you need to have Faith in order to be Baptized.


If you want to learn more about that Faith, I'd encourage you to stick around here and ask questions. We're happy to help you and look forward to hearing of your Baptism.
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#4
Thank you for your replies  :D I am almost 20 so marriage isn't really on my mind at the moment, so I guess it doesn't make sense to date? I don't live in a very religious place so.. there isn't anybody to date anyway, if it truely isn't a good idea to marry non-christians.
Not spending time alone together at all? How do you get to know eachother well? I really want to get away from the evangelical "courtship" thing.  :s Do you mean just not going to your houses alone?
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#5
(08-20-2019, 02:15 AM)katie76 Wrote: Not spending time alone together at all? How do you get to know eachother well? I really want to get away from the evangelical "courtship" thing.  :s  Do you mean just not going to your houses alone?

Yes. Don't set yourselves up for the opportunity to do anything impure, so not time alone in private. Go out to dinner, take a walk together, etc. Just don't be in a place or situation where you can easily fall. Don't go over to his house to cook him dinner without someone else around. 

That's actually even more important after engagement. It's really easy to think "well we're getting married anyway" and fall into sins.

If you keep the dating ordered, then the marriage will be, too. Marriage doesn't change the passions. If willing to do impure things before marriage, you will after as well.

In my experience the best marriages usually result from people spending time together with friends and family, because then they get to see what their significant other really is like. It's not a show or a veneer. You get to see them at their best and their worst. If he (or for a man she) can charm you and make it seem all so wonderful, but hide that darker side where they get angry, or demeaning, you may never see that until you see them around others, and in tough situations.

In that same experience, those who spend their whole dating life as an opportunity to be alone, even when they don't fall into serious sins, also don't really get to know each other very well, but think they do, because they never get to see real life situations. They only ever see the well-planned and orchestrated few hours each week, and phone conversations, and texts, etc.

At 20 years old, you're certainly quite ready for marriage as far as age goes. The question is more of maturity, and if you're looking to convert, probably gaining some stability in the Faith, since if marriage is for you, then you'll need to figure out how to be a good Catholic mother, which isn't just about having babies, but also learning to raise them well. Since the general rule I've heard from most traditional priests is that a courtship shouldn't last more than about 1-2 years (since if you haven't figured out if he's the one by then, he's probably not), and then engagement no more than 6-12 months, when you think you're about 2-3 years out from being ready for marriage, then is the time to start dating, or at least consider allowing a decent Catholic man to show interest.

Best way to meet good Catholic men, though, will be at Church and after making some good devout Catholic friends. Don't be afraid to consider people a bit out of your age range (nothing too drastic), but two of the best marriages I've seen are couples with about a 10 year age gap. They work very well, and have produced great Catholic children. Two of the most down-to-earth families I know.

I see you're in Aussie. We have a handful of Aussies here on the forum, I have a few traditional Catholic friends down under, especially across the ditch, and know a handful of traditional priests, so if you need some good Catholic contacts, please let me know by PM or reach out to the other Aussies on FE.

Again, welcome, and do, if you have any questions about the Faith, feel free.
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#6
I would highly recommend seeking out another Catholic if you're just dating. I am a convert to the Church from atheism and live in a mixed marriage with an agnostic, it's a difficult situation given that we have two kids and my wife is opposed to raising them in the faith. I can see why the Church used to strongly advise against mixed marriages.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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