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Respect for both of their beliefs extended into their wedding ceremony, which was led by both the priest and the rabbi.There were readings from the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament, signing of an interfaith ketubah (a Jewish marriage contract), drinking from a kiddush cup, and the couple stood under a chuppah, or canopy during the ceremony.“It was good to know that the same things were being asked of us,” Richards says.They plan to raise their children Catholic, but they both say their kids will be well aware of their Jewish heritage, and they were encouraged to raise them as such by Bline.Before the revision, the non-Catholic party had to sign a document saying they agreed that their children would be raised Catholic.Post-revision, the Catholic spouse pledges to maintain his or her faith and “to do all in her or his power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church.” The non-Catholic is informed of that pledge.All the ceremony components were explained to guests in an extensive program.Richards and Levy say being rasised in “very open and accepting families,” has helped support them throughout their relationship.

Such marriages—interfaith (between a Catholic and a non-Christian) and interchurch (between a Catholic and another Christian)—have been on the rise for the past 30 years.Things went differently for Midwesterners Sarah and Mike Miles (not their real names), who were surprised at just how much tension their own Jewish-Catholic union churned up in Mike’s family. In her first, which lasted about three years, she married a fellow Jew.“It was important for me to marry someone Jewish at that time,” she says, adding that her mother was also a big advocate of marrying someone of the same faith.“We’ve changed quite a bit of stuff since Vatican II,” says Claretian Father Greg Kenny.“I don’t think allegiance to one church or one faith should keep you from the most basic command, that you should love one another.” Kenny says the way the Catholic Church should deal with the growing number of interfaith marriages is on a grassroots level, one couple at a time, with parish and diocesan programs.“We realize that this is a major pastoral issue,” says Sheila Garcia, associate director of the U. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth.

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