Grace is free, but not all fees are simony

Abbé_pratiquant_la_simonie

The expense of obtaining a decree of nullity makes it difficult for some people to come into full communion with the Church. When annulments are expensive, there is also the risk that outsiders (or even Catholics) perceive that annulment is just “Catholic divorce,” for sale to parishioners with enough ready cash. But here’s the problem: it really does cost money to do it right.

Read the rest at the Register.

image By Gratianus (culture.gouv.fr) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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  • enness

    My thought upon hearing this was that they may see more frivolous paperwork. I don’t think they should be prohibitively expensive, but it seems like a nominal fee would help keep that down. I used to work at a box office and there was a recurring lecure series that was free, but required a ticket. At the end of the night usually at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the tickets remained from people either forgetting or just blowing it off.

  • Petee

    A fair point. In my diocese it’s an expensive bill – $1100. I’m fortunate that I’ll be able to afford it, but no-one is denied the process for lack of means. (Hmmm – perhaps the price is high to support those that can’t afford it? That would be the Christian thing to do.)

    Francis has called the tribunals to “find the truth,” not to hand out annulments to all comers. Yet I keep hearing that only 5% of divorced Catholics seek annulment. How many more would be right with the church if they filed. Seen correctly, granting annulments isn’t the problem, quite the opposite, the low rate of petition is the problem.