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Summary. The prohibitions against marriage in the second and third degrees of affinity and against the union of the offspring from second marriages to a relative of the first usband, are removed. This prohibition does not apply beyond the fourth degree of consanguinity and affinity.
Text. It must not be deemed reprehensible if human statutes change sometimes with the change of time, especially when urgent necessity or common interest demands it, since God himself has changed in the New Testament some things that He had decreed in the Old. Since, therefore, the prohibition against the contracting of marriage in secundo et tertio genere affinitatis and that against the union of the offspring from second marriages to a relative of the first husband, frequently constitute a source of difficulty and sometimes are a cause of danger to souls, that by a cessation of the proibition the effect may cease also, we, with the approval of the holy council, revoking previous enactments in this matter, decree in the resent statute that such persons may in the future contract marriage without hindrance. The prohibition also is not in the future to affect marriages beyond the fourth degree of consanguinity and affinity; since in degrees beyond the fourth a prohibition of this kind cannot be generally observed without grave inconvenience. This quaternary number agrees well with the prohibition of corporal wedlock of which the Apostle says that "the wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband; and in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife" (I Cor. 7: 4); because there are four humors in the body, which consists of four elements. Since therefore the prohibition of conjugal union is restricted to the fourth degree, we wish that it remain so in perpetuum, notwithstanding the decrees already issued relative to this matter either by others or by ourselves, and should anyone presume to contract marriage contrary to this prohibition, no number of years shall excuse him, since duration of time does not palliate the gravity of sin but rather aggravates it, and his crimes are the graver the longer he holds his unhappy soul in bondage .[ cf. I Lat, canon 5].
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