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Are we 1st or 2nd Cousins in the view of the Catholic Church

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OK, i over a year ago I met my first/second cousin online overseas and we have developed a fantastic loving relationship.  The stumbling point for her is that we are first cousins, and  cousin marriage is illegal in her country, and considered too close in the view of the Church.  First cousin marriage is legal in my country.

Here is the complication, or perhaps the "get out of jail" card; we have a common grandfather, therefore under this scenario we are 1st Cousins, however, our Grandmothers were different, and were sisters, therefore under this relationship we would be Second cousins, and allowed to marry.

I am not sure which takes precedent, or whether under the rules of consanguinity in the Catholic Church, whether we are sufficiently removed to further our relationship.  Essentially my partner and her parents feels as though she would be sinning in the eyes of the Church.

I have been researching for months and posting on many forums without success.  I know you can get a Bishops dispensation, however I am in a western nation, and my partner an Eastern European nation, so I believe any dispensation given in my country would be considered by my partner to be due to a lack of upholding morality in my country.

Can anyone please help, or point me in the direction of a cleric who would know the answer?  Many thanks 

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the degree of kinship is always considered to be the nearest in terms of the law. so first cousins it is.

can you share exactly what eastern european nation she lives in? to my knowledge, first cousin marriage is legal throughout ALL of europe. i've never heard of any part of europe where it was not legal.

as for dispensation, i can only assume that since the roman catholic church is the final authority, a dispensation given under that authority in one location would be valid in any location... but i'm no expert in that area, so don't put any stock in my opinion.

so, where would you two want to marry and live, anyway? your country or hers?

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Thanks Lady C,  your comments do make sense.  Her country is Ukraine, but we would live in mine.  I also agree with the comment re authority of RC Church.  I think it is more of a morality issue for them, so 2nd cousins would have made them feel more comfortable.

Just a thought though, I understand what you say re the law, however the RC Church talks about the 4th or more persons removed from the common blood being eligible to marry.  Given that there is no direct blood line backwards to the grandmothers, would that make us the 5th line under consanguinity?  The RC Church does not specifically talk about 1st cousins, it is just that 1st cousins fall within the magic number of 4, and therefore not approved.

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I am not sure which takes precedent, or whether under the rules of consanguinity in the Catholic Church, whether we are sufficiently removed to further our relationship.  Essentially my partner and her parents feels as though she would be sinning in the eyes of the Church.

I have been researching for months and posting on many forums without success.  I know you can get a Bishops dispensation, however I am in a western nation, and my partner an Eastern European nation, so I believe any dispensation given in my country would be considered by my partner to be due to a lack of upholding morality in my country.

Can anyone please help, or point me in the direction of a cleric who would know the answer?  Many thanks

That's not quite how it works exactly. The Church gives the dispensation of it's own accord. However, they will only do it where it is legal. It has nothing to do with the morality of the Country or State, the Church has determined it to be morally allowed, where it is legal. If you care to dig into it deep enough, you will find the Church's original objection to the practice was not based on Scripture, but more so on prudence. Families commonly arranged cousin marriages to protect the family wealth and holdings. The Church figured this practice was not so much in their interest, so, they prohibited it for quite some time. Later, the further levels of consanguinity were allowed, and first cousins were also allowed again, with a dispensation, provided the laws had not changed in the meantime. So, provided it is legal where you are, it is allowed by the Church. The Church will not go against the law of the land, at least in this instance, but more so for legal reasons than moral ones. For example, lets take the Middle East, and predominately Muslim countries. One would be hard pressed to find stricter moral codes than in this region. Provided the Church is allowed to operate there, they would have no problem granting a dispensation, because the practice of cousin marriage is not only legal, but to a large extent, it is preferred. Again, nothing to do with any sort of morality, it's just strictly based on the legality of the jurisdiction.

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