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Pope to Offer Streamlined Annulment Process

  • Associated Press

Pope Francis delivers his blessing to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sept. 6, 2015.

Pope Francis delivers his blessing to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sept. 6, 2015.

Pope Francis on Tuesday will release a new streamlined process for annulling marriages after he -- and generations of Catholics before him -- complained that the church's current system is cumbersome, costly and often unfair.

The Vatican said Francis would release the new rules after a commission of canon lawyers spent the past year studying ways to simplify the process while safeguarding the principle of the indissolubility of marriage.

Church teaching holds that Catholics can remarry only if their first marriage is declared invalid by a church tribunal. Catholics have long complained that it can take years to get an annulment, if they can get one at all.

Francis has already called for annulments to be free, saying all Catholics have the right to justice from the church.

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