Aling Marissa has separated from her husband 23 years ago. But even if she’s in another relationship, her previous marriage has not yet been annulled.
She explained that aside from the long process, she has to spend a huge amount of money. She has no plans of filing an annulment because of this reasons.
Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz admitted that couples would have to wait years before the church annuls their marriage due to their thorough examination of each case.
The case needs an approval of two tribunals or courts. Sometimes the case reaches the Vatican.
On November 24, Pope Francis announced in a letter some changes in the church’s annulment process.
Aside from the waived fees, the process does not have to go to two courts. Bishops are also given the authority to speed up a decision, especially in special cases.
Archbishop Cruz welcomes these changes, especially since couples who have not yet been annulled are living in sin by being in another relationship, despite being legally separated.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines clarified in a statement that despite these changes, “the teaching about the indissolubility and unity of marriage remains. The doctrine about the sacredness of marriage and family life is unchanged. The declaration of nullity of marriage is not divorce.”