annulments

Pope urges bishops to exercise authority as judges in annulments

VATICAN CITY — A diocesan bishop is the sole judge in the streamlined process for handling marriage annulments, Pope Francis said.

The simplified process "is not an option that the diocesan bishop can choose, but rather an obligation that derives from his consecration and from the mission received," making the bishop the sole and exclusive authority in charge throughout the three phases of the briefer process, the pope said.

Marriage tribunal explains how annulment reforms will affect Catholics

When Sue Cooke got divorced, she knew she'd have to get an annulment, too.

The decision to divorce was painful, and the annulment -- the Church's process to determine whether a marriage was invalid from the beginning -- wasn't easy either. But Cooke called the experience necessary for her healing and important to her faith.

Pope simplifies annulment process, asks that it be less expensive

VATICAN CITY -- While a juridical process is necessary for making accurate judgments, the Catholic Church's marriage annulment process must be quicker, cheaper and much more of a pastoral ministry, Pope Francis said. Rewriting a section of the Latin-rite Code of Canon Law and of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Pope Francis said he was not “promoting the nullity of marriages, but the quickness of the processes, as well as a correct simplicity” of the procedures so that Catholic couples are not “oppressed by the shadow of doubt” for prolonged periods.

Annulment process should be cheaper and more efficient

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said the Church's marriage annulment process should be more efficient and perhaps even free of charge, and he decried any attempts to exploit it for profit.

"Some procedures are so long and so burdensome, they don't favor (justice), and people give up," the pope said. "Mother Church should do justice and say: 'Yes, it's true, your marriage is null. No, your marriage is valid.' But justice means saying so. That way, they can move on without this doubt, this darkness in their soul."

Pope names panel to streamline marriage annulment process

VATICAN CITY -- Two weeks before the start of an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, the Vatican announced the formation of a special commission to reform the process of granting marriage annulments.

"The work of the commission will start as soon as possible and will have as its goal to prepare a proposal of reform of the matrimonial process, with the objective of simplifying its procedure, making it more streamlined, and safeguarding the principle of the indissolubility of matrimony," said a Vatican statement Sept. 20.

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