Expert Answer Forum

Marriage Age Disparity QUESTION from J. Lawless December 31, 2000 Dear Bro. Ignatius,
I have recently befriended a young woman who attends my parish. She is 15 years younger than myself (I'm 35, she is 20), but we have found that we have many common interests and enjoy spending time together. We both love the Church and fervently practice our Faith. Our relationship to this point has been a mutual friendship but questions have come up regarding the possibility of a deeper relationship with the obvious possiblity of marriage (neither of us have been previously married). However, we both have some concerns about public perception (I am 4 years younger than her mother), and more importantly practical, theological and moral pitfalls of such a relationship. I would like your advice on how the Church views an age disparity like this and if there are any specific documents (Encylicals or others) that might be of some help.
Thank you for your time in addressing this issue and we look forward to your response!
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 4, 2001 Dear Mr. Lawless:
The Church only mentions a minimum age for marriage.
As long as you are honest about your age and not defrauding each other about your true age, and there are no impediments, you are free to marry as any one else would.
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