A diriment matrimonial impediment preventing a valid marriage with certain blood-relatives of a previous wife or husband, unless a dispensation be granted. No marriage can be contracted with any relative of the deceased wife or husband in the direct line, that is, with any of her or his ancestors or descendants; and no dispensation can be given. In the collateral line the impediment extends to the second degree, first cousin, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece; and a dispensation may be granted for either the first or the second degree. Under the older laws there was an impediment of illicit affinity, resulting from sexual relations with certain near relatives of the party with whom marriage was desired; this has been abolished by the new Code of Canon Law.

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “affinity”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 January 2019. Web. 14 June 2021. <>