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Relationship

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(CARNAL AND SPIRITUAL)

The theologians understand by relationship in general a certain connexion of persons established either by nature or by the civil or canon law. Hence they distinguish three kinds, natural, legal and spiritual.

With legal relationship we are not here concerned.

Natural or carnal relationship originates in carnal intercourse of man and woman, whether marital or not. It is twofold: consanguinity and affinity.

Spiritual relationship has been introduced by ecclesiastical law. It is associated with the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. It runs in each case between the minister and the recipient of the sacrament and also between the sponsors on the one hand and the recipient and his parents on the other. According to the existing discipline it operates as a diriment impediment of marriage between the persons named. (See AFFINITY; CONSANGUINITY; MARRIAGE.)

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