Since Pope Francis’ decree making it easier for divorced Catholics
to receive an annulment to their marriage, many lapsed believers have
slowly been coming back to Sunday masses across the globe. The Catholic
Church does not recognize civil divorce — to them, marital unions
sanctified by God are indissoluble. So the way around that is an annulment,
when the church agrees that something essential was missing from the couple's
relationship when vows were exchanged, like infidelity or a spouse's
unwillingness to have children.
However, annulments were costly and hard to obtain. But since Pope Francis’
announcement last week, there has been a renewed sense of faith among
the 1 in 4 American Catholics who have gone through a divorce.
"Obviously, that did not work," said Father Kevin M. Laughery,
a judicial vicar who leads the annulment tribunal in the Diocese of Springfield,
Ill. "Even though our tastes may not include the idea of recognizing
divorce, we have come around to the idea that it is sometimes necessary."
Pope Francis' annulment reforms may draw divorced Catholics back to
the faith (LA Times)
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