close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Pope mulls removing marriage annulment charges

Vatican City: Pope Francis Wednesday denounced the hardships Catholics can face when seeking marriage annulments, revealing he once fired an official who tried to charge thousands of dollars for one.



Vatican City: Pope Francis Wednesday denounced the hardships Catholics can face when seeking marriage annulments, revealing he once fired an official who tried to charge thousands of dollars for one.

Francis told participants at a Vatican course for officials dealing with annulments that as bishop of Buenos Aires, he was dismayed to learn that some faithful needed to travel hundreds of kilometers and lose days of work to reach church tribunals.

He also recalled sacking an unidentified church tribunal official, possibly a lawyer, who told someone: "Give me USD 10,000 and I'll take care" of the annulment process.

"One must be careful that the procedures don't become a business," Francis said.

The Vatican teaches that matrimony is a sacrament and forbids divorce. Many Catholics wanting to end their marriages seek annulments, a church ruling their union was invalid and thus, essentially, never existed.

Possible reasons include a spouse who never intended to be faithful or who was psychologically too immature to understand the forever nature of marriage in the Catholic church.

Annulments allow Catholics to marry again in the church. Francis said he was considering requests, made at a recent Vatican meeting of bishops about families, to make annulments cost-free.

Many dioceses customarily ask annulment petitioners to pay hundreds of dollars to defray administrative costs, but some are now dropping fees, as a northern Indiana diocese started doing last month.

Francis reiterated his resolve to streamline annulment processes, which are sometimes "so long and so weighty," he said, that people become "discouraged."

Divorced Catholics who remarry without annulments cannot receive Communion since the Vatican considers them as adulterers living in sin.

Many such divorced Catholics are hoping the pontiff, who says he wants a merciful church, will relent and let them receive Communion.

 

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions

trending

photo gallery

video


WION FEATURES

K8 Plus: Lenovo's new phone available @ Rs 10,999

Heavy security outside Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa as search operation begins

WATCH Exclusive: After Doklam standoff, India begins road construction near LAC

Hurricane Irma, rampaging through Caribbean, is most enduring super-storm on record

Three train derailments in 1 day, fourth accident narrowly-averted

China says Indian Army chief's views contrary to those expressed by Modi, Xi