Francis restores Rota’s power that JPII restricted

Pope Francis has restored a capacity to the Vatican’s main marriage court that had been restricted by St John Paul II.

In a December 7 rescript, Francis allowed the Roman Rota to grant an annulment even if the grounds for doing so weren’t the ones originally specified in the case under review.

Before 1994, the Rota was able to grant the annulment directly on such new grounds.

St John Paul II, however, required the Rota to assess only the grounds specified in the case.

This meant the person seeking the annulment potentially had to start the process again.

Observers said John Paul’s decision reflected a desire in the 1980s and 1990s to tighten up the annulment process.

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