Series - Dispense Matrimoniale (DM)

Variations: Dispense

The Lateran Council of 1215 forbade marriages up to the fourth degree of relationship by consanguinity or affinity resulting from a previous relationship before the marriage and spiritual affinity resulting from a person being a witness during a marriage or a godparent to one of the spouses' relatives. Therefore persons related to the fourth degree required a marriage dispensation to commence with their marriage celebration. Since the Maltese Islands had a small population, marriages between related families were not uncommon.

Reference: Ciappara, Frans. Marriage in Malta in the Late Eighteenth Century. Associated News (M) Ltd, 1988, p. 48.