‘Inter-faith marriages affects Church’ - INDIAN EXPRESS, 8the Jan
THRISSUR: The ever-increasing number of inter- faith marriages, technically
known as a disparity of cult, by the Christian youth is causing serious concern
to the Church. The concern is mainly due to the possible isolation of the couple
from their families and its socio-cultural after-effects later in their family
life, apart from the limited role the Church could play in case of any dispute
between the husband and wife belonging to different faiths.
Talking to The New Indian Express, Senior Vicar General of the Thrissur
Archdiocese Fr Raphael Thattil said that a considerable increase in the number
of Catholic youths seeking permission from the Archdiocese for ratifying their
marriages has been noticed in the past two years. The number of youths
approaching the Thrissur Archdiocesan authorities for interfaith marriages has
gone up to between five and eight a week in the past two years. In the event of
any dispute between the husband and wife belonging to different faiths, the role
of the Church is limited to a mediator and the matter becomes a subject to be
dealt with by a civil court.
Thattil said that almost all these youths are IT professionals working outside
Kerala, who have just started living independently. Main actors driving these
professionals to the `non-conventional’ path are the sudden freedom from the
control of parents and the financial empowerment.
Absence of parental and religious guidance, the atmosphere at work places where
close discussions and interactions between young men and women involved in the
same project are inevitable, the free time available on holidays and the
influence of western culture are other factors leading to the situation, he
Thattil said that there was no readymade solution to the problem.
To some extent, alertness by parents could prevent the situation. He said that
considering the seriousness of the matter, the Church was also thinking of
setting up pastoral care centres for religious guidance to these migrants.