In a November 25 address to participants in a course on annulment procedures, sponsored by the Roman Rota, Pope Francis said that the new streamlined procedure for annulments in special cases should “typically be concluded in one session.”

The Pope stressed that these cases can only be decided by a diocesan bishop. “The streamlined process is not an option that the diocesan bishop can choose,” he said, “but rather an obligation that derives from his consecration and from the missio received. In these cases, the Pontiff explained, the bishop himself should hear the “absolute evidence of the facts proving the alleged nullity of the marriage, as well as the consent of both spouses.”

Pope Francis introduced the streamlined annulment procedure in September 2015, to allow for quick handling of cases in which the argument for the nullity of a marriage is clear and convincing. Although he unveiled the change before the first of two meetings of the Synod of Bishops devoted to marriage, he said that the canonical changes that he instituted were the result of synodal government of the universal Church. “These two acts,” he said, referring to his September 2015 decrees, “have arisen from a synodal context, they are the expression of a synodal method, and they are the arrival point of a serious synodal path.”

Full story at Catholic Culture.