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Catholic World News

In Middle East, where civil divorce is impossible, a high demand for efficient marriage tribunals

October 13, 2016

The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarchate of Jerusalem is organizing conferences for Church tribunal officials about the implementation of new streamlined procedures for annulment cases—a matter of urgency in many societies in the Middle East.

In many Arabic countries, a Catholic Herald report notes, there are no civil laws regarding marriage and divorce; the state relies on religious bodies to certify marriages. So civil divorce is impossible for Catholics, and many leave the faith—becoming Orthodox or even Muslim—to find a tribunal that will allow them to escape their marriage.

Lawyers and canonists from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, and Jordan have participated in the sessions held by the Jerusalem patriarchate, looking to speed the process by which Catholics can resolve a marriage case.

 
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