This post is a follow-up from here.

I have a distant cousin who have a relationship with me as follows: My dad's sister is a first or second cousin with her uncle, though my dad and her uncle are not related. What would be the degree of kindship be between her and myself (please give 2 answers, one for 1st and another for 2nd)? I am a little confused about the chart answer from the above question.

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. For more on what this site is all about, see: How we are different than other sites. Meanwhile, I hope you'll browse some of the other questions and answers on this site. Jun 28, 2018 at 17:35
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    @Geremia Interpretation of RCC cannon law has absolutely no place on the puzzling site. Please don't mislead users, we have enough trouble helping them understand our site scope without misinforming them.
    – Caleb
    Jul 2, 2018 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


The mode of calculation for canon law from the link in the previous question is reasonably clear.

  • The number of degrees is the number of people of the longer line of descent between you and your girlfriend back to but not including the first ancestor common between you.

  • You must be separated by at least 5 degrees.

You've been unbelievably unclear about your ancestry. Not a little unclear, astronomically unclear. Why are you complicating things by talking about your father's sister and your girlfriend's uncle? Is your aunt not a blood relative of your father? Is your girlfriend's uncle not a blood relative of one of her parents? What does it mean that your father and your girlfriend's uncle are not related? Do your father and his sister not share a parent? Please note my concluding statement, below.

Anyway, all you need to do is draw a chart of your family tree back to the first common ancestor and count the number of generations between you and that common ancestor (count every person in the line, including yourself and the common ancestor, and subtract 2). Do it for both you and your girlfriend. If both numbers are 5 or more, you're good to go. If either isn't, you're good friends.

Based only on what you've told us, you're separated by 2 or 3 degrees, max.

However, if your girlfriend's uncle is actually an uncle-in-law (someone married to your girlfriend's aunt), then the two of you may not be related by blood at all. You need an accurate family tree, and you haven't provided one.

Please note that an analysis of your specific family tree is off-topic for this site and will not be considered. The question of how Canon Law calculates degrees (assuming I'm right) has been answered.

  • My understanding is that relationships by marriage may also be an issue but probably easier to get dispensed and not as far back of a degree.
    – Belinda
    Jun 28, 2018 at 8:56
  • @Belinda, I believe you're correct.
    – JBH
    Jun 28, 2018 at 14:14

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