Monday, 7 September 2015

Will the Pope make annulments easier?

UPDATED: One hour ago, 12:30 PM Rome time, the Vatican released the Motu proprios, the first deals with the Latin Church and the second, the Eastern Churches.

The document is only in Latin and Italian. 

They can be viewed here.

It is being reported on Rorate Caeli Blog that:
The Vatican today announced that a press conference will be held at noon tomorrow for the presentation of two Apostolic Letters of Pope Francis, given motu proprio: Mitis iudex Dominus Iesus and Mitis et Misericors Iesus. These concern the reform of the canonical process for the causes of declaration of nullity of marriage (commonly called "annulment") respectively for the (Latin-Rite) Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. 
The Pope has in his full authority the ability to issue a Law to do this. There is no point in discussing the matter at length until we see what is in it. Rorate links to an article written last year after the Synod by Don Pio Pace which can give us an idea of what may be in it.

I cannot speak for the rest of the world or the Pope's own experiences in Argentina. As a Catholic with a Decree of Nullity, I fail to understand the problem. The application in the Archdiocese of Toronto was not humiliating or onerous; but it was not simple. It took about two years, mostly due to my own delay in paperwork and witnesses which added a year. The Tribunal will look for the most obvious justifications for the decree and is often criticised by those who do not understand the process. The cost, as I recall, was around $900CDN which was  donation for which I received tax receipt. Frankly, the most difficult thing was discussing with the elderly auditor, a Religious Sister, the frequency of the marital embrace!

Note in particular what Rorate states at the bottom of the post:
Merely to illustrate how much things have changed in just three years: in 2012 the Vatican also had a project to reform some aspects of the canonical process for declarations of nullity. The major difference is that this project had as its aim to tighten, or make stricter, the grounds for granting these declarations -- not make these easier to obtain. (Rorate posted about this in May 2012.) One of the driving forces behind this "Ratzingerian" version of annulment reform was Cardinal Burke, whose removal from the Apostolic Signatura in November 2014 was, at the very least, highly convenient for the partisans of annulment simplification.  
Where is the problem?

The problem is right at the top; it begins with Jorge Bergoglio, Bishop of

Thus, it begins.


Gabby said...

I suspect that your experience in your Archdiocese and my friends' experiences in my own diocese, as well as that of most petitioners in North America, are not typical of the situations we find around the world.

As I understand it, in some areas getting a decree can take more than a decade. It may well be that all this will do is put everyone on more or less the same footing. Would that be such a bad thing?

Vox Cantoris said...

No, that would not be a bad thing provided the second instance is not tampered with.

However, I think it will end up as a free-for-all. What I predict is that we are going to see come out of all of this is a patchwork based upon Bishops' Conference preferences.

He is setting us up as an Anglican Communion which is heresy.

If I am right, he must be opposed and deposed!