Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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The faculty of the university of Paris declared "that, after frequent meetings in the Church of St. Mathurin, and at the College of Sarbon, having most diligently and conscientiously examined the sacred scriptures, with the most approved expositors, together with the general and synodical decrees of the councils of the Church, established, received, and approved by long usage; they do unanimously answer, assert and determine, that a marriage with a sister in law, is equally prohibited by the law of nature and of God; and that the Pope cannot grant a dispensation for such marriage."

The faculty of the university of Bononia say: "we judge, declare and testify, and we affirm without any hesitation, that such a marriage, such nuptials, and such connections are horrible, execrable, detestable, and to a christian, and even to every heathen, wholly abominable. It is prohibited by the law of nature, and sanctioned by the severest penalties, both divine and human; nor can the Pope, upon any consideration dispense with the contraction of such marriage." see Burnet's history of the reformation of the Church of England; collection of records and original papers, in folio, vol. 1. page 89.


&c. where these, and many other documents of the same import, are inserted, in their original language, at large.

These men were decided and unanimous in condemning the abominable crime of incest, and particularly in reprobating that species of it, which is committed in marrying a sister in law. They denied the authority of the Pope to dispense with the law of God, and considered it altogether out of the power of the Church to put a different construction upon the divine precept. Their intrepidity and honesty no doubt excited the indignation of their Pontiff; but they expressed the sentiments which prevailed among the best informed in the Church of Rome.

The light in which CIVIL GOVERNMENTS have viewed incest appears from the laws enacted by them against it. From the Institutes of Justinian, commonly called the Pandecta or jus civile, it is certain; that incest in the Roman Empire was considered a civil crime and severely punished. - Among modern nations it will suffice to mention: that by an ordinance of HOLLAND, 1580, it was enacted "that


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