Elimination of annulment fees

cathedral_saints_peter_paulThe Diocese of Providence has announced the elimination of all fees for the annulment process. The following announcement comes from Msgr. Albert Kenney:
 
“How I wish all marriage proceedings were free of charge.”
Pope Francis’ Address to the Roman Rota – January 23, 2015
As a response to Pope Francis’ expressed wish, I am pleased to announce the elimination of all fees formerly charged for defraying the cost of the marriage annulment procedure in the Diocese of Providence effective, July 1, 2016.
His Excellency, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, inspired by the Holy Father’s pastoral concern and following the practice of many other dioceses, in accordance with Canon 1649 §1, º1, has decreed the removal of the “requirement of the parties to pay or compensate for judicial expenses.”
Thus, the $500 fee once charged for a formal annulment procedure will be completely eliminated. Parties whose cases have already begun but are still in process need not pay anything further than the payments already made. As you know, back in 2007, the fee was reduced from $750 to the current fee of $500. As always, the expected donation was never a pre-condition or requirement to receive a declaration of nullity. No one has ever been turned away and no case has been delayed because of an inability to defray the costs associated with operating the diocesan marriage tribunal.
It is important that we inform our people about this change. Therefore, I would appreciate your clear communication to parishioners using whatever means and methods necessary. By doing so, we hope that those who until now have felt the cost to be prohibitive, might feel welcome to seek from the Church the pastoral assistance they need.
Finally, in light of the fact that much of our tribunal’s expenses have been subsidized for many years in the amount of one-quarter of a million dollars out of the General Fund, we will adopt a strategy similar to other dioceses (e.g. Boston). If a party expresses a desire to make some contribution, we will provide an opportunity to make a special one-time donation to the Catholic Charity Fund Appeal.”
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Fr. Finelli was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Providence on June 13, 1992. He is an avid Mac user. Father has been designing websites since 1995 and is the host of the iPadre Catholic Podcast, which he founded in 2005. His hobby is Live Steam railroading in 1-1/2″ scale.

Comments

Elimination of annulment fees — 2 Comments

  1. Go ahead. Make annulments as easy as possible.

    Been through the process twice, as a respondent who defended a valid sacrament even as my wife receives communion, with her lover.

    The Church will do all it can to find nullity but nothing to heal a valid, sacrament.

    • Not true. I have had several cases denied throughout the years. The Church always take the side of the bond, the petitioner must prove invalidity. If someone has evidence that shows a marital bond to be valid, they have the responsibility to present it to the marriage tribunal.