According to the Catholic church, is it a sin to marry your distant cousin?

I am looking for two-three answers from someone who is knowledgeable in Catholic ecclesiastical laws:

(1) What degree of cousin marriages are allowed?

(2) How does the Catholic Church calculate the cousin's degree?

(3) What is the reason for the Catholic church changing its stances throughout its history? Is it merely political, or is there a moral reason also, in terms of distant (and not close) cousins?

  • Question four really just isn't allowed here, but you could ask people in chat.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 3:49
  • Why would it not be allowed exactly? The Bibe itself sets limits on mariage according to periods, let him have his question. Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 7:33
  • 5
    @DestynationY This site is about the documented beliefs and practices of Christian groups - personal opinion is off-topic, and always has been. The Stack Exchange Q&A format does not allow for opinion based questions.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 10:32
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Can a bishop allow Marriage between cousins?
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 12:47
  • @KenGraham I think the why in q3 makes it different, but answers have yet to address that. Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:47

1 Answer 1

  1. "Consanguinity is a diriment impediment of marriage as far as the fourth degree of kinship inclusive."
  2. See the table at the end of this article for how 4° kinship is determined, or this table:Table of Consanguinity
  3. The Council of Trent's session on marriage defined the dogma that the Church has the authority to make impediments:
    Canon IV.—If any one saith, that the Church could not establish impediments dissolving marriage; or, that she has erred in establishing them: let him be anathema.
  • This answer is good, but it would be better if it gave a more thorough treatment of point 3; the Church usually gives reasons when it upholds impediments against things. A discussion of the history of the teachings on this matter might be appropriate (e.g. Nothing's intrinsically wrong with colatteral line marriage, but direct line marriage is immoral intrinsically, also colatteral line marriage is banned because protection of familial relationships against sexual disorder is important, at least says forums.catholic.com/t/is-incest-a-sin/118741/5. Also 2388-9 ccc is relevant Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 2:57
  • @thedarkwanderer The reason goes all the way back to Hebrew (Lev. 20:20ff.) and Roman law against incest (a type of lust); cf. this.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 16:49
  • Yes, that commentary on canon law would be an excellent source. Also it seems to indicate the impediment is actually through the third degree of kinship, inclusive, and can be potentially dispensed with in cases where the consanguity is of the 2nd or 3rd degree and the line is not direct. Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 17:14

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