07 September 2015

Pope Francis to issue reforms for the process of declaring the nullity of marriages tomorrow

The Holy See announced today that a press conference will be held tomorrow to discuss the release of two letters written motu proprio of the Holy Father Pope Francis titled Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus, which will concern the law of the Latin rite, and Mitis et misericors Iesus, which will concern the law of the Eastern rites. The letters concern the reform of the canonical process of the declaration of the nullity of marriage (more commonly known as annulments).

The two letters will be issued following the work of a special commission the Holy Father established in August of 2014. The last word I heard about this commission (which, admittedly, was several months ago) was that it had not yet even met. Now, however, its work seems to be complete.

I think most canon lawyers are a bit surprised that the changes to the law of the Church will be issued prior to the conclusion of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops next month and that the two letters will be given with just one day's notice.

At present, the content of the letters is unknown. One thing, however, is likely certain: I now know what to expect on my final comprehensive exams this June.

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