Curia grumpy at being out of loop on annulment changes

Senior Vatican officials have voiced discontent with the way recent changes in Church law on annulments was handled.

In a seven-page dossier, obtained by German newspaper Die Zeit, the officials express concerns over an absence of consultation on the matter.

They complained that no curial departments, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, or bishops’conferences, were consulted before the changes.

The process of obtaining a declaration of nullity was made simpler, quicker and cheaper as a result of two motu proprios issued by Pope Francis last week.

Motu proprio means “by his own initiative”.

The dossier stated that usual legislative channels have been “undermined” as “none of the planned steps of a legislative procedure have been followed”.

Critics say this goes against the Pope’s calls for synodality and collegiality.

According to a report in the National Catholic Register, the papal commission that drafted the motu proprio had been ordered to keep silent throughout the drafting process.

But the report also alleges that this commission did not see the final draft.

It states that an Italian cardinal along with two others “fiercely” tried to prevent the motu proprio being published before the synod on the family, but without success.

The report also voices concern that the changes will lead to a flood of annulments and that from now on, couples would be able to simply exit their Catholic marriage without a problem.

They also charge that the language used in the papal documents was too vague.

“A number of monsignors who are officially in charge of directing the affairs of the Church at large, are beside themselves” and feel obligated to “speak up”, according to Die Zeit.


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