On Tuesday 8th September 2015 Pope Francis announced a number of reforms from the Vatican in relation to the annulment of marriage that will make it easier, quicker and cheaper for Catholics to remarry.
The church does not formally permit divorce but Catholic couples can seek an annulment from the church to pronounce that their marriage was invalid from the outset. Without an annulment, divorced Catholics who remarry are considered adulterers and are prevented from participating in some key ceremonies, including Holy Communion.
The process to obtain annulment is currently a costly and time consuming process and the Pope has set about to change this. The Pope’s reforms, which are due to take effect on 8 December 2015, include the following:
- He has reduced the procedure to one church tribunal from two;
- Permitted fast tracking of annulment in certain circumstances;
- Dismissed fees
Pope Francis set up a special commission of experts to review the process for annulments last year and has now announced the simplified process for annulment.