Save Our Sacrament - Changes in the Annulment Process - 2015

Changes in the Annulment Process, October 2015


THE APPEAL to the ROMAN ROTA is your opportunity to challenge Catholic annulment by appealing the decision of the First Instance Court that your marriage sacrament was not valid.


Pope Francis wrote a “Post- Synod Letter (2015), "Amoris Laetitia” (Latin for “The Joy of Love”). Included in this document are new changes to the annulment process. The new changes appear to simplify the annulment process for Rome. Save Our Sacrament has hope that these changes will be beneficial to Respondents in the long-term. But it will take a while for the Tribunal system to work out the glitches that have resulted from these new changes. In both the local and Appeal processes some changes that could make the annulment process even more difficult for the Respondent.


Two Changes are:

  1. Before 2015 a Respondent, who wanted to Appeal the local tribunal’s decision to annul, was required to pay $1000. As of October, 2015 there is no financial cost to Appeal the First Court decision, which is beneficial to the Respondent. But that means less $ coming in to the tribunal system. All Roman Catholic Church offices are financially less secure after being legally bound to compensate for their abuse of children during the Priest-pedophile Scandal starting in 2000.
  2. A second change in 2015 urges Respondents to submit their Appeal not to the Roman Rota but to the local Bishop. With no $ coming in to the tribunal for Appeals, are those men going to work "for free" to validate your sacrament? We think not. We have worked for two decades with Respondents throughout the World and we are life-long Catholics. It seems clear to us that the local Bishop, who is most often untrained in Canon Law, will not want the extra duty of deciding if a marriage sacrament is ‘worthy’ of an Appeal or not. Any Appeals to the local bishop will be handed off to priests in the tribunal office who have already declared that a Respondent’s sacrament was not valid. The Bishops ‘new’ Appeal-team will simply repeat the original decision, invalidating the sacrament for a second and final time. Obviously this not beneficial to the Respondent.


SOS continues to advise Respondents to Appeal to the Roman Rota, which is still your right despite what the local tribunal may tell you.


Further information about the Pope's changes can be read via Google:


Links re "Amoris Laetitia” (Latin for “The Joy of Love”)


AMORIS LAETITIA, "The Joy of Love" can be ordered via Amazon or read online (all 264 pages) › va › dam › pdf › documents

Mar 19, 2016 -AMORIS LAETITIA. Of the Holy Father, Francis. To Bishops, Priests, and Deacons


In Amoris Laetitia, Francis' model of conscience empowers Catholics


Pope Francis'Post Synod (2015) Letter / article about


Apr 8, 2016 - ...Amoris Laetitia,Latin for The Joy of Love. Host Bob Abernethy and managing editor Kim Lawton talk with Rev. Thomas Reese, SJ, senior analyst atNational Catholic Reporter, about what the pope ...


Bishop's Page (USCCB) about the document



Articles About the New Changes


Synod offers striking softening to remarried, proposing individual discernment

Joshua J. McElwee | National Catholic Reporter Oct. 24, 2015


Included in this article: “Catholic teaching says that acts of governance in the church can take place either in an internal or external forum. The Internal Forum is the forum of conscience, where a decision is made in private counseling with a priest without a formal decree or any sort of publicity. The Synod offers an important softening to remarried, proposing individual discernment. Pope Francis concluded the Synod saying to the bishops “The Synod experience … made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness”.


Pope Francis’ Annulment Reform

by Andrea Gagliarducci
June 13, 2016


Annulment Process to Be Less Costly, with 'Correct Simplicity'

by Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service America magazine


Pope reaffirms annulment reforms as they come into effect

by Catholic News Service Catholic Herald/UK


Before the Pope’s Letter

Synod document from the October 2015 Synod of Bishops

The entire document can be accessed via Google at :


This final Synod document deals with many issues families face throughout the world. The bishops attending the October 2015 Synod wrote that they give Pope Francis the final say on the document and asked "humbly” that he consider writing a document of his own about the family. Which he did (above).


Each of the 94 paragraphs of the document were adopted by those attending the Synod, with the required two-thirds vote.



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