Pope Francis makes marriage annulments easier, local reactions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pope Francis makes marriage annulments easier, local reactions

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Pope Francis announces changes to annulment process Pope Francis announces changes to annulment process
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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

The Catholic Church seems to be moving in a new direction on annulments,  and local Catholic leaders are in agreement.

"It takes a while to get an annulment and sometimes people are in a rush because they are in a relationship," said Father Jim Miller of Church of Nativity.

Pope Francis announced it will be easier for Catholics to get marriage annulments, something that some have said is a difficult process. People have also said it's too expensive, but for the Archdiocese of Dubuque it only costs $450. 

So why now?  Some say the timing is right, in part, because the divorce rate remains so high.

""I think people need a second chance, when they really mean well and want to make that kind of commitment to another person," said Father Jim.

There seems to be a positive opinion about this change.

"In general those kinds of decisions should be between God, the two people involved and maybe the local pastor and not a huge bureaucratic issue," said resident of Dubuque, Tim Nelson.

The changes include eliminating a review process by a cleric, bishops will also be able to fast-track the process and finally, it will now be free...except for administrative costs. 

Under the new church rules, an annulment could be complete within 45 days.

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