Pope Radically Simplifies Annulments
Pope Francis is making it much easier for Catholics to divorce and remarry.
In a move that again showed his desire for the Church to be more merciful to Catholics in difficulty, Francis reaffirmed traditional teaching on the “indissolubility of marriage”, but streamlined annulment procedures which many considered cumbersome, lengthy, outdated and expensive.
Last week Francis made it easier for women who have had abortions to receive absolution if they are truly contrite over their action and confess it to their local priest during the Church’s upcoming Holy Year of Mercy, which starts in December.
In the document, known as a Motu Proprio, Latin for “by his own initiative”, Francis eliminated a previously mandatory automatic review of an annulment decision by a second diocesan tribunal and gave bishops sweeping powers to quickly judge the most simple, clear-cut cases themselves.
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