It does not matter if both partners are committed Roman Catholics, were even raised in the same church, attended the same catechism classes in the same dank basement, were confirmed on the same day by the same bishop and matriculated at the same Catholic college.
One is committed to raising the children within the faith, while the other will give the children latitude to come to their own conclusions about God and the universe.
Woll and Sweeney are not a typical intermarriage (as if there were such a thing).
Woll, who grew up a Reform Jew in the Chicago suburbs, was a bioengineer, then a physical therapist, before becoming a rabbi in the progressive Reconstructionist tradition.
She recently assumed a new pulpit at Congregation Shir Hadash in Milwaukee.
What do I really care about, and what is just my stubborn ego? And what do I owe to my religious community, which may need me as much as I need it?
One of you eats only kosher food, while the other one loves a good bacon cheeseburger. One believes it is enough to refrain from work on the Sabbath, while the other refuses to drive or use electricity.
This is all to say that, for two people with any religious identity at all, there is no marriage without negotiation.
After returning from the Philippines, Sweeney began occasional visits to Gethsemani, Thomas Merton’s famous Trappist monastery in Kentucky.
Briefly, he thought about becoming a Catholic monk, then dropped the idea.
Jews and many Catholics, like the Irish and Italians, were not considered truly white, until one day we all were, more or less; they can have testy, passive-aggressive relationships with clerical authority; and they are both petrified that the whole shop is about to go out of business.*While we, as a nation, continue to profess belief in God at rates that are distinctly non-European, our specific denominational attachments continue to wane.