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A couple notes on John Allen’s notes

October 7, 2014

John Allen, semper legendus, has several interesting notes on the Synod. I react to just a few, modo Fr. Z.

Allen: An annulment is a declaration that even though two people had a Church wedding [careful: a ‘Church wedding’ is not a prerequisite for an annulment petition, tribunals hear many non-Catholic cases], the sacrament of marriage [careful: annulments cases are about validity, not sacramentality!] didn’t exist because one or more of the tests for validity wasn’t met [careful: tribunals don’t prove marriages valid, they find some marriages null]. People seeking one go through a detailed process under Church law that some find cumbersome, lengthy, and invasive, not to mention occasionally [careful: very, very occasionally] expensive.

Allen: Erdő floated the idea of creating an “extra-judicial” process, allowing bishops to issue an annulment by administrative fiat without the necessity of a legal verdict [that idea addressed here], in order to speed things up. During a Vatican news conference, Erdő said he included the idea in his talk because many bishops’ conferences around the world had suggested something like it, suggesting fairly strong support. [Interesting: to me, that reads as if the canonist included the idea because so many people are talking about, not because it’s necessarily good in itself.]

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