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Pope Francis: annulment decisions should not take years

November 05, 2014

In extemporaneous remarks made to participants in a course sponsored by the Roman Rota, Pope Francis said that justice demands that the Church’s decisions on the validity of marriages should not take years.

“Justice: how many people wait for years for a judgment,” he said.

Some procedures, he added, are “so long and burdensome” that people leave the Church. He cited his own experience in Argentina, in which people had to take days off from work and travel up to 150 miles to offer testimony.

Referring to an attorney who made $10,000 from civil and ecclesiastical proceedings regarding the same case, and stating that the Church dispenses justice freely, the Pope also denounced financial scandals associated with annulments. “When spiritual interests are attached to economic interests, it is not of God!”


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  • Posted by: garedawg - Nov. 06, 2014 1:48 PM ET USA

    Yes, annulments are processed relatively quickly in the US because the US has a functioning infrastructure that helps speed things along.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Nov. 05, 2014 3:40 PM ET USA

    I'd bet the main reason that so many annulments take a long time is that the petitioners and their witnesses are slow at getting their information or depositions written up and sent in. Once I had my orals completed and my written work sent in, my annulment was granted within five months. It isn't always the Church's fault that annulments take a long time.