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Question 169

I have a question which has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Pater. Why can't 2 brothers marry 2 sisters?? They are not blood related so why won't our church allow this?


Answer to Question 169


Good question. In Marriage the couple become one so the relatives of the one party automatically become the relatives of the other and vise-versa. This is called relationship by affinity. In spiritual terms they are brothers and sisters and are related to the fourth degree. Marriages are only acceptable when the relationship has reached the 7th or 8th degree.



Another member

sorry Pater, but could you please explain this in simple terms..many thanks


First member

I don't understand the 7th and 8th degree thing



The degrees are calculated by first finding the parent who is the root of the family tree and working out how many people are involved between two people. Complicated it might seem but it isn't really so let me try and explain. A father has two children, their relationship with the father is of the 1st degree because there is only one person between them. A brother and sister is of the second degree because now there are two people between the siblings, the father and the other sibling. First cousins are of the 4th degree because to reach the first cousin 4 people are involved, the brother, the father, the sister and then her child. Likewise 2nd cousins are of the 6th degree. It's hard to explain this without a diagram which would make it simple, but just think of a pyramid with the father at the top with the two siblings on each side of the pyramid and below them their children. Count how many people are involved from one side of the pyramid to get to the other side. haha you're probably more confused now than before