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Breaking: Archdiocese of Cincinnati ends fees for ‘annulment’ process

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Staff Report

In a press release distributed to local media Friday morning, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has announced it will no longer charge for proceedings of marriage cases.

Commonly called annulments, a marriage case is the tribunal process where a marriage is investigated to see if it was valid from the start. If a marriage is declared null, then the persons involved may be free to enter into a valid marriage in the church.

The full release appears below:

September 11, 2015  

In response to reforms announced by Pope Francis on Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is eliminating the fees charged for marriage cases – the Tribunal process of seeking to have a marriage declared invalid. The change, effective Monday, Sept. 14, applies not only to new cases but also to anyone who has been paying on an installment basis for a case already concluded or for a case still in progress.

Mercy Sister Victoria Vondenberger, Director of the Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, said she is grateful for the elimination of fees. She is hopeful that the changes in procedures announced by Pope Francis, which take effect December 8, will enable the Tribunal to process cases in less time to better serve the people whose lives await those decisions.

The fee for a formal declaration of nullity in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has been $300, about one fifth of the actual cost of the case. However, arrangements were always made for someone who could not afford the expense. For what is called a “lack of form” case, meaning a Catholic did not get married before a priest or deacon and two witnesses, the fee has been $35.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 38th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics, and has the sixth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

Posted Sept. 11, 2015

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