AN OFFICIAL of the Archdiocese of Cebu foresees an increase in annulment cases after Pope Francis shortened the process.
Msgr. Esteban Binghay, a canon lawyer and a member of the Metropolitan Matrimonial Tribunal in Cebu, said though that he has no objections to the recent papal reforms.
He said the Pope’s recent decision is meant to shorten the process not forgo some requirements.
Binghay said that more than 50 petitions for annulment have been filed before the Metropolitan Matrimonial Tribunal in Cebu. He said that the Pope probably issued the reform to address the growing backlog of annulment petitions.
The church may grant an annulment petition if the tribunal rules that the marriage was not valid according to Church law and lacked prerequisites, such as free will, psychological maturity and openness to having children.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis published details of reforms that he plans to implement. One of these reforms is to shorten the processing of marriage annulments.
Under the reform, a couple need not wait for 45 days for the decision of the majority.
In the current system, Catholics also need to pay more than P100,000 annul their marriage before the Roman Catholic Church.
Once Pope Francis' reforms are implemented, Catholics who wish to have their marriage annulled will not be required to pay.
Petitioners whose petition for annulment has been disapproved in the Court of First Instance will no longer need to ask for a review from the Court of Second Instance.
Binghay said that petitioners can appeal a denial before the Court of First Instance.
But if the Court of First Instance denies the petition for reinvestigation, the petitioner can still appeal the decision.