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 said.
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.