Roman Catholics don’t allow for divorce, the dissolution of a marriage. They do, however, allow for annullments, which deny after the fact that a valid marriage ever took place (despite how long the couple has lived together, if they had children, etc.). After an annullment, the marriage is considered never to have existed.
The process to get one has been arduous, time-consuming, and expensive, given the tortuous logic that has to be engaged in, with couples having to provide evidence, for example, that they too young to know what they were getting into and so didn’t really have informed consent to the marriage, and similar rationalizations.
But now Pope Francis has issued the biggest changes to annulment proceedings in hundreds of years, making the whole process much easier. This will surely mean that more Catholics will end their marriages. But at least they won’t get a divorce! [Read more…]