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Archbishop Calls for Acceptance of Interreligious Marriages

Friday, November 3, 2017, 15:15 (IST)

Archbishop Felix Machado of Vasai has asked the Catholic Church to accept interreligious marriages when they do take place.

Machado, a former Vatican official, addressing a conference on Amoris Laetitia in the context of India held in Mumbai from Oct. 13 to 15 said, "Obviously, I am not recommending for interreligious marriages but simply asking for their acceptance when they do take place."

The former Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who served from 1999-2008, warned about being prejudiced against interreligious marriages.

"It is also a fact that a number of interreligious marriages have been successful while, it is also true that a good number of the so-called 'regular' marriages - between Christian spouses - have also failed," said Machado, according to Crux Now.

He said he was "disappointed" with the papal document because it didn't detail upon interfaith marriages - where one of the parties isn't baptized - adding he "expected some clear light" on the subject.

"The Church's way is the way of mercy and reinstatement... not to condemn anyone forever; there is a need to avoid judgments which do not take into account the complexity of various situations and to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience distress because of their condition," he said.

Despite condemnations from the church, Christians still hold to caste discriminations.

"I consider it a mortal sin if efforts are made to interfere in a relationship between two Catholic partners who belong to different castes, thereby trying to dissuade them to contract a marriage because of the caste differences. Unfortunately, there do exist quite a few such rejected families," said Machado.