Can two cousins marry? I read that: “The dispensation can be obtained only from the plenary synod in order not to create cases of precedence” and that: “According to the provisions of art. 6 par. 2, of the Family Code, for some good reasons, the marriage between blood relatives on the collateral line (primary cousins) may be approved by the People’s Council of the respective county, by reasoned decision (see also Decree 278/1960) “. What kind of motivated decision should there be? Is it possible to have a marriage between first cousins, both legally and religiously?
List of blood relatives among whom God forbids marriages
In chapter 18 of the book of Leviticus, all blood relatives between whom marriage is forbidden are listed and sexual perversions that are an abomination before God are also listed. I quote that chapter in its entirety:
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘I am the Lord your God. You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am the Lord your God. So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the Lord. ‘None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am the Lord. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother; you are not to uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness. The nakedness of your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether born at home or born outside, their nakedness you shall not uncover. The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for their nakedness is yours. The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, born to your father, she is your sister, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s blood relative. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s blood relative. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother; you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are blood relatives. It is lewdness. You shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness. ‘Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity. You shall not have intercourse with your neighbor’s wife, to be defiled with her. You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); so that the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God.’” (Leviticus 18:1-30)( NASB)
We do not find cousins in this list of blood relatives between whom marriages are forbidden. Even more, the Bible tells about…
The marriage of cousins Othniel and Achsah
When Israel conquered the land of Canaan…
“Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of the Lord to Joshua, namely, Kiriath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is, Hebron). Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak. Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir; now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. And Caleb said, “The one who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter as a wife.” Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it; so he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife.” (Joshua 15:13-17)( NASB)
Othniel was the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, and so he was a direct cousin to Achsah, for whom he fought to have her as his wife. Caleb was a very faithful and valiant man and if it had been a violation of God’s commandments, he would not have allowed Othniel’s marriage to Achsah. But he gave Achsah as his wife to Othniel.
I don’t know what the article in the Family Code refers to when it says “by reasoned decision.” I invite the lawyers who will read this article to explain what this means.
Translated by Olya Trikolich