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This was illustrated by a document issued by the Vatican on 14 May on the subject of world migration.
In it, the head of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, warns women in traditionally Catholic countries about the risks of marrying Muslim men.
Muhammad said that he, as a Muslim with a Catholic wife, has personal experience of a life spent in harmony with Catholicism, and he feels that the church is making too much of the mixed-marriage issue.
"I am a Muslim, I am married to a Catholic, I have never once tried to convert my wife, she has never tried to convert me.
Part of the church's worry about marriage with Muslim men is that the dominating position of the man in many Islamic households makes it impossible in reality for the wife to bring up the children as Catholics. Muslim men are allowed to marry Jewish or Christian women with the proviso their children are brought up as Muslims.
Islam does not allow a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man -- probably originally for the same reason, namely that the husband is likely to take the dominant role in deciding what religion the children will take.
Many imagine a Christian-Muslim marriage to be like in the Mahmoudy-book "Not Without My Daughter". As far as legality goes, our marriage was officially recognised through the state ceremony but we also had another ceremony in the mosque so he could be married before God.
But things can be quite different: Alexandra and her Egyptian husband Khaled talk about their relationship. It was very important to him and I had no problem with it.
Prague, (RFE/RL) -- During his long papacy, Pope John Paul II has done much to further understanding between the major religions.Khaled: At the mosque, a lot of women tried to talk Alexandra out of the idea but she stood by the ring.Alexandra: It was difficult at first to distinguish what was normal for a new couple growing together and what was limited to religious and cultural reasons.We also had to agree on a "morning gift" (a gift that the husband gives the wife on the morning of the ceremony).All I asked for was a ring, I am financially secure enough.