In a change to church marriage law, Pope Francis streamlined the annulment process on September 8, 2015.[1]  An annulment, which declares a previous union invalid, is required for divorced Catholics who have remarried and want to receive communion.

The new process is shorter, and eliminates most fees, and puts more power in the hands of local bishops.

Robert J. Kaslyn, S. J., is a Jesuit priest and canon lawyer.  He serves as dean of the school of canon law at Catholic University of America.  According to Kaslyn, the Pope is attempting to reconcile divine teaching with the current judicial process.[2]  One of the significant changes is the removal of a mandatory appeal process.  In addition, in “manifest cases” of nullity, a shorter process may be utilized.  These reforms by Pope Francis will be of interest to the 72 million Americans (23.98%) who identify themselves as Catholic.[3]

by Patrick Gaffney

by Patrick Gaffney

[1] Time Magazine Pope Francis Plans to Make it Easier for Couples to Have Marriages Annulled  9/8/2015.

[2] America Magazine Marriage, Pope Francis, and Canon Law:  21 September 8, 2015.

[3] Wikipedia Catholic Church in America.