Pope to Vatican annulment court: past changes help faithful grasp “truth” of their relationship

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25/01/2024
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Towards the beginning of his pontificate, Francis made drastic reforms to the marraige annulment process—something that had only been done a few times throughout the Church's 2,000 year history. Some of the changes involved speeding up the process by requiring only one judgement of nullity instead of two.

Almost a decade later, he again reflected on these changes in an audience with the Rota Romana—the Vatican court whose roles include the annulment process. He emphasized that the goal of the changes is not to nullify more marriages but to save the faithful from the darkness of doubt and help them grasp the truth of their relationship. And he affirmed that the court's pursuit of truth has a strong impact.

POPE FRANCIS
The task of judging is often not easy. Achieving moral certainty about nullity, overcoming the concrete case of the presumption of validity, implies completing a discernment of the whole process, especially the preliminary investigation. Such discernment constitutes a great responsibility that the Church entrusts to you, because it strongly affects the lives of individuals and families.

In his speech, Pope Francis quoted the words of Pope St. John Paul II, who said “deviating from justice and truth end up contributing to alienating people from God.”

AT

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