VATICAN CITY, ROME — This morning the Vatican announced another game changing announcement from the Holy Father. Pope Francis is allowing the Catholic Church to fast track decisions on marriage annulments and remove automatic appeals. Catholics must get a church annulment if they want to remarry in the church, an often long and expensive process. But this new law simplifies the procedure allowing bishops to fast track annulments.

ABC 10 reached out to Bishop John Doerfler for comment today. Bishop Doerfler is out of the office this week, but he provided us a statement about the Pope’s decision.

“I welcome the modifications Pope Francis has announced to streamline the process for declarations of nullity of marriage (otherwise known as annulments). Earlier this year, I waived all fees for this process in the Diocese of Marquette, to make this ministry of healing more easily available to all who have undergone a civil divorce. Marriage is a permanent, life-long partnership between one man and one woman that is ordered to the good of spouses and having and raising children. However, sometimes there was something seriously deficient with the making of the marriage promises, or other impediment, and it was never a true marriage from the beginning. I encourage anyone who is divorced to contact a parish priest to seek healing and reconciliation through this ministry.”

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