Pope Francis unveils Church's marriage annulment reforms

Pope Francis unveils Church's marriage annulment reforms

CATHOLICS will be able to obtain annulments with greater ease, under new reforms revealed by Pope Francis.

The radical plans will change the long-regarded expensive and bureaucratic measures to create procedures free of charge and fast-track decisions.

It will also remove automatic appeals.

The changes aim to make it easier for Catholics to get annulments and remarry within the Church.

At present, in order to separate, Catholics must prove that their marriage was flawed from the start.

In addition, the process can be expensive, with couples often seeking expert assistance due to the complex nature of annulments.

To obtain an annulment, Catholics also previously required the approval from two Church tribunals.

The reforms will reduce this to one, but appeals will still be allowed.

Under the new fast-track procedure, bishops will be able to grant annulments directly if both spouses request it.

As the Church does not recognise divorce, Catholics who do so and marry again are considered adulterers and are not allowed to receive communion.