Pope Francis Monday read Italian bishops the riot act Monday for failing to fully implement a revised marriage annulment procedure he rolled out in 2015, saying that after four years, most dioceses have not yet applied the new process.
“It is with regret that I note that the reform, after four years, remains far from being applied in the great majority of Italian dioceses,” the pope said during a May 20 speech to the Italian bishops’ conference. Italy has the largest bishops’ conference in the world, and it’s generally seen as a pacesetter around the Catholic world because of its proximity to the Vatican. Among other things, the new process gave a stronger role to the local bishop, dropped automatic appeals in obvious cases of annulment, and ensured that the process would be free of charge.
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