Pope Francis to simplify annulment procedures

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"2012 Worldwide Catholic Annulment Cases." Religion News Service graphic by Tiffany McCallen

"2012 Worldwide Catholic Annulment Cases." Religion News Service graphic by Tiffany McCallen

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The Vatican says the pope is taking the initiative to streamline the cumbersome procedure, easing the path for divorced Catholics to return to the sacraments.

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  • Winifred Lothian

    I really hope the process is made easier for those who want to remarry a second time and stay in a state of grace. The process is very cumbersome and time consuming just to initiate. Once you file the initial paperwork you then need to hope you are able to find witnesses that are willing to answer a ver lengthy questionnaire and in a timely manner. Then and only then does the 12 to 18 month time frame start. So you pay a hefty fee, wait 1 to 1 1/2 years with no guarantee you can marry in the church is very frustrating. Allowing civil second marriages the privilege to receive communion would help bring people back to the church and allow couple who truly want to get married the ability to do so.

  • “So you pay a hefty fee, wait 1 to 1 1/2 years with no guarantee you can marry in the church is very frustrating.”

    Who are these people who decide to inflict such pains
    and why on earth to YOU give them this power over you?

    If “no man can break what God has joined” why do YOU grant some men the privilege to break it for a fee – and yet pretend something of ‘grace’ has been restored?

    It is not the 1400’s for goodness sake. Who needs this laughable nonsense?

  • Hunter

    @ atheist max, you and I can certainly agree on the point that there has been no true authority given to remarry, annul, etc; however, our arguments because of this fact vary greatly. I think the nonreligious have a very good point that many in the Christian faith pick and choose when to employ certain verses regarding sexual acts. Our sole focus as Followers of Christ should not be our relationship status. The western culture has made us put way too much focus on “finding the one we love”. It is clear in older passages of the Bible that people married then BUILT their love for one another through this. Western culture has it backwards. Of course there were certain exceptions, but it is true throughout that the love is built because of the marriage, not the marriage because of the love. We should not take lightly what God has ordained and desired for us as social and sexual beings.

  • Ben in oakland

    We have it backwards, eh? So all of those people I the past centuries who found their love and wanted to get married also had it backwards?

    Or is it a case where now the religious people want to tell EVERYONE the proper way to run their lives from birth til death.

    Oh. wait. that is exactly what the hyper-religious want.

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  • Greg1

    Yes, I agree with the pope’s streamlined process. As for Max’s comment on money, well if one understood that each diocese has lawyers, and paralegals who work very hard on these cases, one would find these hefty fees, are actually bargain basement prices, which barely cover some of the costs. As for what is at the heart of an annulment process? Well, when Jesus said, “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mark 10:9), then the Church investigates whether God has truly “joined together” this husband and wife. And in doing so, the Church looks for impediments that existed from the outset. For example, did one of the parties never want children? Or consider the marriage to be only a “trial” marriage?, Or did one only get married for monetary gain? Or was one of the parties incapable of taking a vow due to mental issues? Well those are the things the Church looks at. Of course if everything was in order, then the Church would declare no annulment…

  • Michael Glass

    “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mark 10:9) Do we accept that every marriage is from God? This defies logic.

  • Dominic

    The Church takes marriage vows very seriously , more serious than those who say them. It is the bride and groom who declare before God that they will be united until death, not the priest. How is the priest to know if there are underlying conditions that are not revealed before the wedding?
    Streamlining the process of annulment is a good idea, and the cost factor has been eliminated. Requesting an annulment does not guarantee approval from the Church, so it is not as indifferent to the vows taken as civil divorce is……which is always granted at a huge cost.
    The Church has to be the Church, not a civil servant for for society. True Catholics who wish to retain their privilege of receiving Sacraments must follow the rules of their Faith, and not accuse it of discrimination.

  • Betty Clermont

    As usual, Atheist Max, you make an excellent point. Like the pope saying that, for the first time in decades, even the neo-fascist Society of Pope Pius X priests can “grant” absolution for abortion, he maintains that only he and his men are the arbiters, mediators and administrators of God’s love. Happily, as the recent Pew report showed, only 8% of Americans attend Mass at least once a week, so fewer and fewer are “giving them this power.”

  • Bernardo

    Ahh, marriage and Christianity always brings to mind the following:

    1 Cor 7: 32-34 as per JD Crossan in his book In Search of Paul, p.111: Paul was not interested in marriage because he assumed the second coming was imminent. Fortunately for us, Paul was wrong about this and about a lot of other things.

    Matt 19: 12 ” For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”

    Not the way to go in my opinion and not a good reference for promoting celibacy.

    Definition of a eunuch:

    1. A castrated man employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts.
    2. A man or boy whose testes are non-functioning or have been removed.
    3. Informal. An ineffectual, powerless, or un-masculine man.

  • Bernardo

    Hey what happened to Matt 19: 6-8 et al????

    …6″So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?” 8He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.…

    Jesus’ commentary about divorce has been rated authentic Jesus by rigorous historic testing i.e.

    Against Divorce: (1) 1 Cor 7:10-11; (2) 1or2?Q: Luke 16:18 = Matt 5:31-32; (3) Mark 10:10-12 = Matt 19:9; (4) Herm. Man. 4.1:6b,10 multiple attestations from the first stratum, 30-60 CE

    See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?title=015_Against_Divorce