Catholic World News

Vatican officials not given advance notice as Pope puts annulment reforms into effect

December 14, 2015

The Vatican office that handles the interpretation of canon law was caught by surprise when Pope Francis issues the rescript putting his reform of the annulment process into effect, according to Vatican journalist Andrea Gagliarducci.

Gagliarducci reports that the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts was not prepared to answer journalists’ questions about the Pope’s annulment reforms last week. Officials at that office—which is entrusted with canonical questions—were apparently unaware that the Pope had already signed the canonical instrument enacting his reforms.

The failure to provide advance notice to the canonical office, Gagliarducci writes, “shows the way reforms are carried forward in this phase of Pope Francis’ pontificate: without the involvement of curial institutions, on the basis of the assumption that they want to block reforms, rather than promote them.”


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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Dec. 14, 2015 10:25 PM ET USA

    It looks like Pope Francis is taking a page out of Obama's Executive Order play book.

  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Dec. 14, 2015 6:56 PM ET USA

    This story is very confusing. Wasn't Mitis Iudex issued on Sept. 8 and did it not say that the reforms take effect Dec. 8? So how could the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts not know what was happening on Dec. 8 as of last week? Do they live in a cave? Is some important detail missing from the story?