Pope reaffirms new annulment reforms as they come into effect

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December 11, 2015

Pope Francis arrives for a prayer vigil for the Synod of Bishops on the family in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 3. (CNS/Paul Haring) See POPE-SYNOD-MASS Oct. 4, 2015.

Pope Francis arrives for a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (CNS/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As reformed rules for marriage annulment cases came into effect, Pope Francis said the new norms are to be adhered to in order to help bring healing to failed marriages.

With the release of two papal documents in September, the pope rewrote a section of canon law with the aim of making the Catholic Church’s marriage annulment process quicker, cheaper and much more of a pastoral ministry.

A juridical process is always necessary for making accurate judgments, and the new rules were not about promoting annulments, but rather about helping Catholic couples with the process so they would not be “oppressed by the shadow of doubt” for prolonged periods, he had said in the papal documents.

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