Re: Inter-cultural relationship dilemma

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Posted by Stacy on September 21, 2001 at 19:28:16:

In Reply to: Inter-cultural relationship dilemma posted by Susanna on September 20, 2001 at 13:10:29:

: I am a Finnish-born Australian and I have been with an Australian-born Greek man for 9 years. We finally got married in a civil ceremony last year with no complaints from his family. However now that we have had a baby they have asked me to be baptised Greek Orthodox (as I have lost my Lutheran baptism certificate) and that we remarry in the church so that our daughter can be christened Greek Orthodox.

: I feel slightly opposed to the idea on the basis that my cultural identity and half of my daughter’s heritage will be diminished, even extinguished, if I convert, as I will need to learn the language in order to understand what is said in church. (I cannot lightly accept the conversion merely for paperwork as I am a Christian and I would like to attend a church so that my daughter can be raised to be a moral person.)

: I have no major qualms about the Greek Orthodox version of Christianity, aside from my wariness about the ‘worship’ of icons, so I am prepared to convert and even attend without my husband. (My husband is a Greek Orthodox in name only – which makes me also wary of the religion that has members that claim membership, yet have no true faith.)

: My husband considers himself Australian not Greek, therefore he dislikes all Greek cultural occasions (he’s the one who wanted the civil ceremony) but would also like to make his family happy, so he is unsure of what I should do, so basically the decision is all mine. The question is whether I should promote harmonious family relations for my daughter’s sake, as my mother suggested, and to adopt a new culture therefore losing my Finnish background (which I have always been proud of) or to stand my ground on the basis of nationality and retain a church membership (Lutheran) which I feel familiar and comfortable with (not to mention which provides Sunday School for my daughter which the Greek Orthodox Church does not have) which may then offend my in-laws.

: I would like to hear any opinions on my dilemma and any suggestions on how I can tactfully reject my in-laws request should I decide to do so. You can personally contact me at .

I am a Greek Orthodox married to a French Roman Catholic. We also have a daughter. Neither one of us converted, but we baptized our daughter Greek Orthodox. We were had a Greek Orthodox ceremony when we married, but we had it in a Roman Catholic church. We have comprimised the best we can. You DO NOT have to change religion to be re-married in the Orthodox church. And, you should not change if you really do not want to. My daughter attends both churches. She, of course, only takes communion in the Orthodox one. I intend in enrolling her in both Sunday schools. It works out well for us because Catholic church is on Saturday, and Orthodox on Sunday. We support both churches financially, and equally. Bi-religious relationships do work.

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