Can a Greek Orthodox marry in a Roman Catholic Church?

I met a Greek Orthodox man through eHarmony and I am Roman Catholic. We are just beginning to know each other. He seems to think we have a lot in common, including religion. He states that the two religions are very similar and has also told me he has been to the Vatican twice and seen the Pope. He is divorced. However, I don’t know if the marriage took place in a Greek Orthodox church, another church, or was simply civil. I have never been married. We each have a life goal of marriage. Neither of us has children. His ex-wife has re-married.

I have always dreamed of a Roman Catholic wedding. Of course, it is way too early to talk about it and I don’t know if he would consider being married by the RC Church. I know that he has stated his religion is very important to him. It almost seems, from his discussion of the similarities of our religions, as if he might be fine attending a RC church. But, of course, that is something that I will need to discover along the way.

I’m just wondering right now if a Greek Orthodox is allowed to be married by the RC church and how the Greek Orthodox church looks at divorce and remarriage.

I haven’t been reading this particular forum alot, so I don’t know much at all. Thanks for answering my question.

I talked to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels at Los Angeles California. I was ensured that I am allowed to marry my spouse at the church even though she isn’t of the same faith, and that she is a Christian.

I was told that the ceremony would be different, and that you MUST promise that if you have children, they MUST be raised in the Mother Church.



It requires a dispensation (from your bishop) for you to marry her, a dispensation (from her bishop) for her to marry you, and she’s likely to want a Greek Orthodox Crowning in marriage; the GO are less likely to grant her dispensation unless you accept the GO service, rather than she accept RC…

And the additional dispensation (from both bishops) for the GO wedding is not going to add much paperwork, and will make things a LOT easier in dealing with her family, presuming they are also GO.

Be warned, tho’: In general, the Orthodox are required to raise their children Orthodox; you are expected to raise yours Catholic. RESOLVE THIS BEFORE MARRIAGE. You might consider one of the Byzantine Catholic churches as a compromise, but it is one of the biggest problem issues in Orthodox-Catholic mixed marriages.

Thanks. It’s the other way around. I am the woman and RC and the man is GO. I didn’t think it would be that complicated. That is disheartening. For me, being married anywhere but in a RC church by a RC priest is absolutely out of the question. I have never wanted any other kind of wedding, not even a civil garden wedding as so many people do nowadays. That is like giving up who I am and turning my back on my father, etc. For some reason, this man gave me the impression that are religions were somewhat interchangable as far when considering marriage.

If it would be possible to have the crowning ceremony in the RC church, that is perfect fine with me. (Although, I suppose that is supposed to be done by a GO priest, if that is the right word.)

There is no possiblity of children, so that’s not a problem.

Thanks again for your answer. Perhaps it is better I move on and date someone else.

See here for some official information on your question.

I really wanted to step in on this post.
I am Greek Orthodox, my Husband is Roman Catholic. If a Greek Orthodox marrys outside of a Greek Orthodox church the Greek Orthodox person loses their right to recieve communion until a Greek Orthodox crowing ceromony is performed. Both churches require you to commit to raising the children in there church.
Also, If this man is Greek Orthodox and he is divorced he must apply and recieve an “ecclasial Divorce” (similiar to an annulment) but after the fact, and he will probably also have to get an annulment decree from the Catholic church for you to validly marry him.
Bottom line: if you are heart set on a RC wedding and rasing your kids RC then be VERY CLEAR with him If he is heart set on a G.O. Wedding and rasing his kids G.O. then find out now.

The question of him being a divorced man would have to be addressed, would it not, and a case placed before the Marriage Tribunal? Divorce is treated somewhat differently in the Roman Church as compared with some others…I do wish you every success and happiness. Have you discussed the possibilities with your parish priest ? PS
It took me a long, long time to receive an annulment in my case, however it was worth the wait in the long term.


One other thing I just thought of… I don’t know if you are really supposed to do this or not, my cousin did it (again not to sure on if this was ok or not)
my cousin married a RC girl, they had the wedding at her RC church and then a reception. The next weekend, they had another wedding at the Greek Orthodox church to restore his communion status and a small reception with just the immediate family.

No, the Orthodox Church does not recognize a marriage of an Orthodox outside their own Church, nor do they give dispensations. In Orthodox theology, it is the priest that confers the Sacrament, not the couple. Therefore, it must be an Orthodox priest conducting the ceremony.

You would have to be married in the Orthodox Church for it to be valid. The Catholic Church will give the proper permissions to marry outside Catholic form. You would have to attend Catholic marriage prep and you would have to promise to raise your children Catholic. The Catholic Church would also have to find him free to marry through the Catholic Church’s nullity process. He is NOT free to marry as far as the Catholic Church is concerned regardless of what his own Orthodox Church may say.

I am sure he is a very nice person, and yes the two religions are very close. Yet, they are not in union. Honestly, I do not see how this can work b/c the Catholic Church has very specific requirements of its members, as does the Orthodox Church. I don’t see this working out, long term. In fact, I had a Greek friend (guy) and we were definitely interested in each other romantically, but after talking we determined it was best not to go there. He was not going to convert, neither was I, and we both knew we had to raise our kids in our own faith… no way to do that in practice.

Then end this relationship with the Greek Orthodox man now.

It doesn’t sound like he really understand what his own Church teaches, let alone the Catholic Church. He doesn’t seem to understand his obligations as an Orthodox.

There are concrete, serious differences between the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches.

They are definitely NOT interchangeable.

No. This is not possible.

This is forbidden under Catholic Canon Law. The people you refer to might have done this, but they transgressed Church law to do so.

They should have married in the Orthodox Church, with the Catholic party receiving a dispensation to do so.

Samuel, while this is true in general, this specific question is regarding someone who is Greek Orthodox. The Orthodox have their own canonical requirements for valid marriage and therefore the answers you received regarding your situation do not apply to this situation.

Marrying another Christian who is Orthodox is not the same as marrying just another Christian.

Here is the booklet on marrying Catholic-Orthodox marriages:

Just for the record, this could cause more problems than solutions. My sister was baptized in the Maronite rite, but confirmed in the Roman rite, and married a Methodist. She wanted a Roman rite wedding, but the problems presented with trying to reconcile a Maronite baptism with a Roman confirmation were massive. Ultimately she had to find a priest who was ordained in both rites in order to have a Roman wedding. (This might not have been the only solution, but it was the easiest).
I don’t imagine a Roman Catholic and a Greek Orthodox would have a much easier time trying to get married in a Byzantine rite.

In the eyes of the Catholic Church, your Greek Orthodox friend is still married.
You may not date a married man.

Your friend had some ill informed priests. Especially since a Maronite Baptism is supposed to include confirmation immediately, tho’ it might not have due to latinization.

The differences in praxis and theology between the GO (which is itself Byzantine Rite Orthodox) and any of the other Byzantine Churches, Catholic or Orthodox, are far smaller than between the Byzantine Catholics and the Roman Catholics.

Sufficiently so that some Byzantine Catholic Parishes have had members who were Orthodox and just a hair clueless, and didn’t realize for years they were in a Catholic parish rather than an Orthodox one.

Wait, so he has to go through the process of nullity before they can even go on a date?

Don’t worry, a Catholic marriage tribunal would probably easily find a reason to nullify the marriage(like he slept with his socks on or something) and decide that he and his wife were never really married in the first place… then you’re good to date.


Yes, a person with a previous marriage that divorces is considered MARRIED until otherwise proven. They said the vows “till death”…so the Church is giving the benefit of the doubt and presuming he meant them. He is a married Man. do not date him until there is a declaration of nullity.

(becuase you can’t assume he will get one. What if he doesn’t? what if his first marriage was valid? you’ve then dated (and possibly kissed, etc) a married man ,You’ve invested emotionally with a married man.

and then, all of these marriage/faith issues should be DISCUSSED FIRST!!! Not last. next time you talk. …bring it up. Dating is for finding a spouse. Get the heavy issues out of the way first so you don’t invest in someone that has some major conflicting issues

You’re right, not funny at all- I agree.