Pope Francis kept all his appointments despite a painful sciatica, though he remained seated throughout his meeting with the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota.
The dean of the tribunal expressed his gratitude to the pope for his time as well as for that of his predecessors, who also welcomed them every year.
“Our audiences began with St. John Paul II. We remember our last audience with him on Jan. 29, 2005, two months before he went to Heaven. We also remember our audiences with Benedict XVI.”
Pope Francis reflected on the importance of giving kids of annuled marriages pastoral attention, above all when one of the spouses doesn't accept the decision. That's why he asked bishops to take charge of these situations and judges to do their job without forgetting the challenges these circumstances create, especially for the kids.
“In your verdicts, do not stop showing how important this is for the Church, considering that the good of the people requires not remaining static in front of the disastrous effects that a decision on the annulment of marriage can bring.”
He also reiterated that March 19 will mark the beginning of the year dedicated to the family, following the ideas in the Amoris Laetitia apostolic exhortation. He said this document contains very useful tools for the pastoral care of the family. Lastly, though he didn't propose making legislative changes to the marriage annulment process, he did reiterate his hope that it will be quick and free of charge.