Francis Calls For Further Streamlining of Annulment Process

Commemorates 10th Anniversary of «Dignitas Connubii»

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The Instruction «Dignitas Connubii» can help ministers of the court to streamline annulment proceedings that are «often perceived by married couples as long and tiresome». 

These were the sentiments expressed by Pope Francis in an audience with members of an international conference commemorating the 10thanniversary of the Instruction’s release. The conference was organized by the faculty of canon law of the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome.

Released in 2005, «Dignitas Connubii» (The Dignity of Marriage) was a set of norms compiled by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts to serve as a practical guide to help make the canonical processes of marriage nullity more efficient.

The Pope commented on the document’s importance for local tribunals, while noting that «experience teaches us that he who knows the path to follow travels more rapidly.»

«The knowledge of and familiarity with this Instruction may in the future also help ministers of the courts to streamline proceedings, often perceived by married couples as long and tiresome,» the Pope said. «The resources that this Instruction makes available for rapid proceedings, free of any formalism, have not yet been fully explored; similarly, the possibility of future legislation intended for the same purpose cannot be excluded.»

Concluding his address, Pope Francis also highlighted the contribution of the defender of the bond in cases of marriage annulment. The defender’s presence and fulfillment of his task, he said, «does not condition the judge, but rather allows and promotes the impartiality of his judgment by setting before him the arguments for and against annulment.»

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