Pastor's Blog - September 27, 2015

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

News and Notes:  As you may have heard or read, Pope Francis has decided to simplify the marriage annulment process.  His purpose for this change is to show “concern for the salvation of souls” by extending charity and mercy to those who feel alienated from the Church because of their marriage predicaments and the perceived complexity and cost of the Church’s annulment process.  In the document “The Lord Jesus, the Gentle Judge,” the Holy Father removes the current time-consuming step of the primary Tribunal sending its initial declaration of nullity to an appeals court for verification.  Pope Francis also reduces or in some cases eliminates the fee that many Tribunals charge for annulment cases and he orders that the entire process ordinarily take no more than 45 days.  The papal document also allows bishops to make expedited decisions on annulments in certain cases.  These cases include: very brief marriages; procured abortion to prevent procreation; stubborn persistence in extra-marital affairs at the time of the wedding or immediately thereafter; concealing “with malice” one’s infertility, a contagious disease, or children from a previous relationship; pregnancy at the time of marriage so that it basically forced the marriage; physical violence to extort a marriage; and the failure to use reason by one of the parties, proven medically.  All these rules take effect beginning December 8.  If someone wishes to pursue an annulment, I encourage them to contact one of our priests or deacons, or Donna Delahanty, our Director of Parish Ministries.  Any of us will be happy to answer questions and accompany a petitioner through the process.  Many thanks to those who helped make our Parish Socials this weekend (Pancake Breakfast at SMG, Brunch at OLA) wonderful events of food and fellowship… and blessings to all of you in the week ahead!