Image credit: Olessya, Pixabay Image credit: Olessya, Pixabay

Today is one of those days when we Catholics need to learn the facts about Church teaching and be prepared for the inevitable questions which will come our way as news of today's announcement by Pope Francis hit the popular airwaves. It's always best to go to trusted sources to parse and understand such developments, so I thought it would be helpful to point you to a few factual sources.

Vatican Radio has a full summary of the reforms here and leads with an overview:

Pope Francis issued two Apostolic Letters motu proprio on Tuesday, by which he introduced reforms to the legal structures of the Church, which deal with questions of marital nullity. One of the Letters motu proprio, known by its Latin title, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus – or “The Lord Jesus, Clement Judge” – reforms the Code of Canon Law (CIC) governing the Latin Church, while the other, Mitis et misericors Iesus or “Clement and merciful Jesus” – reforms the Code of Canon Law for Oriental Churches (CCEO). According to the prefatory remarks attached to both Letters, the reforms are the result of an expert group appointed to study the current state of law and practice in the Church as far as marriage law is concerned. The Holy Father goes on in the preface to explain that the reforms are guided by seven specific criteria... Read full article here

Catholic News Service also provides a helpful overview:

While a juridical process is necessary for making accurate judgments, the Catholic Church’s marriage annulment process must be quicker, cheaper and much more of a pastoral ministry, Pope Francis said.
Rewriting a section of the Latin-rite Code of Canon Law and of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Pope Francis said he was not “promoting the nullity of marriages, but the quickness of the processes, as well as a correct simplicity” of the procedures so that Catholic couples are not “oppressed by the shadow of doubt” for prolonged periods. The Vatican released Sept. 8 the texts of two papal documents, “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (“The Lord Jesus, the Gentle Judge”) for the Latin-rite church and “Mitis et misericors Iesus,” (“The Meek and Merciful Jesus”) for the Eastern Catholic churches. The changes, including the option of a brief process without the obligatory automatic appeal, go into effect Dec. 8, the opening day of the Year of Mercy... Read full article here

Rome Reports offered a helpful video summary:

In addition to these official news outlet summaries, you may want to visit the website of your own diocese to find a summary statement from your bishop. Several dioceses have released official guidelines for the faithful to help answer practical questions.

Please join us in praying for the sanctity of marriage and the wellbeing of all married couples.

Copyright 2015 Lisa M. Hendey

Image credit: Olessya, Pixabay