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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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COLLATERAL LINE

A relationship subsisting between two persons from common stock. As indirect blood relationship, it exists between brother or sister, aunt or uncle, nephew or niece, first or second cousins. It annuls marriage to the third degree, but cousins may be dispensed by permission. In certain circumstances a dispensation can also be had for an aunt and nephew or an uncle and niece. Moreover, the term collateral line can also refer to the relationship of affinity which comes from a valid marriage and exists between a man or woman and the relatives of his or her spouse to whom he or she is related in the collateral line of blood relationship (consanguinity).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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