Pope reforms marriage annulment process

September 21, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

marriageVatican, 09 September, 2015: With two documents announced yesterday, issued Motu Proprio, the Pope has given power to the local bishop to judge annulment cases and allowed for “increased brevity” in the legal process by removing the requirement for a second judgment.

Currently, a decree of marriage nullity requires a review of the first decision or “sentence.”

The new rules mean in certain cases a bishop can provide a quick annulment to couples. Church annulments rule that a marriage has been invalidly contracted: however, there have been complaints for many years that the process is laborious and inaccessible to many Catholics.

Last September, Pope Francis announced a commission to look at a reform of the process.

In an introductory letter, which was issued yesterday only in Latin and Italian, Pope Francis admits that an “abbreviated process of judgment might put the principle of the indissolubility of marriage at risk.”

As a result, however, he has “desired that, in such cases the Bishop himself shall be constituted judge, who, by force of his pastoral office is with Peter the greatest guarantor of Catholic unity in faith and in discipline.”

Furthermore, the rules allow for appeals in annulments to be heard by the local Metropolitan See which gives increased responsibility to local churches.

– cns

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!