Picture: © KNA
Marriages in the Catholic Church are actually indissoluble

Number of marriage annulment applications in the Vatican has risen sharply

Sanremo - In the Catholic Church, marriage is indissoluble. However, couples who wish to separate can have their marriage declared invalid in retrospect. The Vatican is increasingly dealing with such applications.

Published  on 16.03.2024 at 17:08  – 

The number of marriage annulment applications received by the Vatican has risen sharply. Before the coronavirus crisis, the number of new applications was around 700 to 750 per year, said Vatican judge Francesco Viscome at an event in Sanremo, according to the internet portal "Prima La Rivera". In each of the past two years, the number has risen to 1,200.

In the Catholic Church, marriages are indissoluble. In retrospect, however, it can be determined that a marriage was invalid. There are special courts to decide this. The final authority is the "Rota" in the Vatican, of which Viscome is a member. In 2015, Pope Francis abolished the previous requirement for a second instance to review a marriage annulment judgement. The new procedure serves to streamline the process and overcome delays, said Viscome.

In some countries, the new regulation was interpreted as if the procedure was merely a formality and the introduction of a "Catholic divorce". In January, however, the Pope urged the Church's marriage judges to be careful. They must help the faithful to understand the truth about their marriage. The simplification of the procedure should in no way promote the annulment of marriages, but merely favour the speed of proceedings in the interests of those affected. (KNA)