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WillThisBeOK Wendi wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a devout Catholic; born and raised Catholic, and a (CFF) Children's Faith Formation teacher who is very faithful to the Church but I've encountered this unique situation.

For five years I've been in a relationship with my second cousin. (I'm not sure if he's referred to as a first or second cousin). We can't seem to fight off these feelings for each other and they are now too strong for us to simply back away.

  • Is it a sin to love and possibly marry a second cousin?

This year, we decided to take our relationship to next level, which is Marriage. It is really important for us to have the Church blessing for our marriage. I've been getting mixed answers from various priests.

  • Is this at all accepted or is it considered a sin?
  • Can we have a sacramental Marriage? e.g. Marriage by the Church

Here is some of the background of our families.

  1. My grandmother and her grandmother were siblings with a different father (same mother)
  2. My grandfather and her grandfather were siblings with a different father (same mother)
  3. I call her mother Aunt.
  • Will I be turned away from the Church for continuing on with this relationship?

I appreciate your time and thoughtful consideration.

Hope to hear from you soon.

WillThisBeOK Wendi

  { Is it a sin to love and marry a second cousin and can we have our marriage blessed by the Church? }

Bob replied:


  • Why don't you contact your diocese and ask to speak to someone who is an expert on Canon Law and Matrimony?

Given the complex nature of this I would go straight to an expert on this specialty. I can't quite decipher the exact relationship as described. Maybe someone on our team can do better.

Sorry I can't do more.


Bob Kirby

Eric replied:


I believe first cousins are normally forbidden without a special dispensation but I agree with my colleague Bob, you need to contact a Canon lawyer, or at least your parish priest.


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