Rorate Caeli

Pope Establishes Commission to make Marriage Annulment Procedures Simpler

Many had assumed that bringing efficiency to marriage annulment procedures would be the way the Synod would settle the matter of the "remarried" divorcees. Since the Pope now establishes a commission to do just that, this somewhat preempts the Synod on this path (the Synod propositions will certainly mention it anyway), leaving the New Kasper Doctrine as a focal point of discussions.

The Holy See statement, published moments ago:
On August 27, 2014, the Holy Father decided to proceed to the Establishment of a special study Commission for the reform of the canonical matrimonial process. Regarding this decision, the following is made public.

This Commission will be presided by the Rev. Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, Dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, and will be composed of the following members: H. Em. Card. Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; H.E. Abp. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.I., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; H.E. Abp. Dimitrios Salachas, Apostolic Exarch for the Greek-Catholics of Byzantine Rite; the Rev. Monsignors Maurice Monier, Leo Xavier Michael Arokiaraj and Alejandro W. Bunge, Auditor Prelates of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota; Fr.  Nikolaus Schöch, O.F.M., Substitute Promotor of Justice of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; Fr. Konštanc Miroslav Adam, O.P., Rector of the Pontificia Università San Tommaso d’Aquino (Angelicum); Fr. Jorge Horta Espinoza, O.F.M.,Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontificia Università Antoniamum; and Prof. Paolo Moneta, formerly professor of Canon Law at the Università di Pisa.

The work of the Commission will start as soon as possible and will have as its goal to prepare a proposal of reform of the matrimonial process, with the objective of simplifying its procedure, rendering it more slender, and safeguarding the principle of the indissolubility of matrimony. [Original source in Italian]

What the statement calls "matrimonial process" is the terminology of Book VII, Part III, Title I, of the Code of Canon Law, dealing with matrimonial procedures in general, but mostly and almost exclusively with marriage annulment procedures (which are the bulk of all procedures related to marriage in Canon Law). The decision was taken in August, but was announced only this Saturday, by way of the Bollettino.