The following comes from a Sept. 8 posting on the Vatican Insider by Joshua J. McElwee. It first appeared in the National Catholic Reporter.
Pope Francis has substantially and significantly altered the process for those seeking annulments of marriages in the Catholic church, eliminating sometimes lengthy and redundant judicial procedures and empowering local bishops to make judgments on their own in “particularly evident” cases.
The changes — announced at the Vatican Tuesday with release of two formal documents signed by the pope known as motu proprios — reflect a decided and new shift in delegating power from the church’s central command to local prelates around the world.
They also may represent the most public difference yet between Francis and his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who had widely sought to limit the number of annulments in fear of creating a sort of back-door divorce process for Catholics.
In a short introduction to the new changes, Francis explains that he wanted to balance the church’s timeless worry to provide for the salvation of souls with “the enormous number of faithful that … too often are detached from the juridical structures of the Church at the cause of physical or moral distance.”
…. The changes announced by Francis modify the procedures for obtaining annulments in two key ways: Eliminating a sometimes lengthy process requiring a second judgment on all annulment decisions and allowing local bishops a so-called “shorter” process to personally judge on cases considered particularly straightforward.
The changes also, in a new take on a since-abandoned practice, allow any first appeals of annulment decisions to be made at the local level instead of at the Vatican. Appeals from smaller dioceses will now be made at metropolitan archdioceses, which are the archdioceses that are normally closest to the diocese in question….
“It has not escaped me how an abbreviated judgment might put at risk the principle of indissolubility of marriage,” the pope continues. “Indeed, for this I wanted that in this process the judge would be composed of the bishop, that in the strength of his pastoral office is, with Peter, the best guarantee of Catholic unity in the faith and discipline.”
The Vatican announced the changes Tuesday by releasing the two official documents, given the Latin names of Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (“The Meek Judge, The Lord Jesus”) and Mitis et misericors Iesus (“The Meek and Merciful Jesus”)….
The pontiff’s decision to remove the until-now necessary, and sometimes lengthy, second judgment on all annulment decisions echoes an ability the U.S. Catholic bishops had from 1970-83, when they were allowed by the Vatican to dispense that obligation for certain cases.
That ability — which was sharply criticized by some at the Vatican who thought the U.S. bishops were applying the dispensation too liberally — was removed with the publication of the 1983 edition of the Code of Canon Law.
The number of annulment procedures initiated in the U.S. has dropped sharply in recent decades. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, the processes initiated went from 60,691 in 1984 to 23,302 in 2014.
Henry the Eighth was ahead of his time. The Church prevented civil divorce In Argentina until the seventies. Pope Francisco is a man of his time and the world.
I don’t know what to think– except, at least, the Pope has already taken decisive action on annulments, so maybe at the October Synod, there will be no further need, to get entangled with Cardinal Kasper’s ridiculous ideas– the Pope already fixed up the Church’s annulment process! Maybe now, the Synod can focus on bolstering the Traditional, Sacramental Catholic Marriage and Family!
The exact wording for the Motu Proprio changes to the Annulment PROCESS go to the Vatican web site.
Until they become available in English, use ‘google translate’, rather than ‘speculation’ from other web sites.
Changes have been made for the annulment PROCESS for both the Latin Rite and the Eastern Rite in two separate documents.
On Vatican web site, click on ‘Motu Proprio’.
Anyone involved in the process who lies, cheats, or otherwise abuses the process will have to answer to Jesus at their particular judgment.
This includes Bishops, either party involved, etc.
Nothing is worth going to Hell over.
Code changes include that either Party has the right to appeal a Diocese Bishop’s decision to a nearby Archdiocese or the Roman Rota.
This should stop abuse by individuals
After reading more about the Pope’s new annulment process— it does not sound very good, nor realistic, to me! Especially, for good Catholics! Sounds like a CHEAP, modern, civil “no fault” divorce!! Why a 45-day annulment process?? That is WAY TOO SHORT!! Shorter even, than most civil divorces!! The whole process really looks very CHEAP, and unrealistic, to me!! And it makes a Catholic Sacramental Marriage look very shaky and unstable, to begin with– no sure guarantee, of the certainty of the validity, and indissolubility, of the Marriage, to start off with!! It cheapens, destabilizes, and erodes confidence in
the Catholic Marriage, and Family, overall!!
You know– under Pope Francis’ new Catholic annulment process– King Henry VIII of England, would have probably had a good chance for an annulment to his first marriage, with Queen Catherine! His Archbishop of Canterbury, would no doubt have helped with the annulment, at that time. And the lives of poor Catholics like St. Thomas More, and many others– would have been saved!! Oh, this annulment thing really bothers me! Isn’t a Catholic Sacramental Marriage, worth more than this, in the first place??
” Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. ” ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)
A gloss is an addition to a Bible verse such as the “Protestant ending” to the Lord’s Prayer: “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory”.
His Holiness has glossed [with the words in brackets] Matthew 19:6 and Mark 10:9 to read “What therefore God has joined together, let no one [but a marriage tribunal (especially with a single judge) or the local bishop] put asunder [and asap if the reason is self-evident].”
not really. a declaration of nullity [the proper term, unlike “annulment”] is not DOING anything to a marriage: it is a determination by the Church, based on objective evidence, that the “marriage” in question never existed. quite a difference.
Vox Cantoris: Cardinal Burke speaks “A growing confusion and error has entered into the Church”