Reformed rules to facilitate rapid cancellation | Goa News

Panaji: From the possibility of making the court of second instance (court of appeal) optional to allowing cases to be assigned to a single clerical judge when three judges are not available, Pope Francis’ reformed rules for annulment of marriage that came into effect on December 8 came as a breath of fresh air for many.
While the new rules don’t change the church’s opposition to divorce, they did bring important procedural changes to help expedite cases that can sometimes drag on in the archdiocese’s marriage court.
The new rules allow a petitioner to apply to a matrimonial court from the place where the marriage took place, from the place of residence of one of the parties or from the place where more evidence is available.
According to the old rules, regardless of where the petitioner lived, he had to apply to the court of the defendant’s place of residence or the place where the marriage took place.
In the past, when the Matrimonial Court based at the Archbishops’ House, Altinho Panaji, with its sub-offices in Pilar, Holy Spirit Church – Margao and Rachol Seminary, rendered an affirmative judgment (allowing the annulment), the case would go automatically on appeal to the Court of Appeal or the Mumbai-based High Court-like Second Instance Court, where the case is heard.
Similarly, judgments from the courts of Mumbai, Sindhudurg and Nagpur would come to the Goa court where the judges, after checking whether the proper procedure was followed, have the power to quash the order of the first court. Anywhere in the world, spouses can also appeal directly to the Roman Rota of the Vatican. The new procedure does not require a second instance court to ratify the first court’s decision unless one of the spouses is unhappy with the merits of the case and requests an appeal.
Apart from the 130 strange petitions it receives per year, the Goa Archdiocesan Court is said to receive 120 strange calls from Mumbai, 145 from Nagpur and five from Sindhudurg. The Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, Fr. Rosario Oliveira says this will significantly reduce the burden on judges in Goa and allow them to focus on petitions received in the state.
When three judges are unavailable to hear an annulment case, the new rules give the archbishop the power to appoint a single clerical judge to hear the case and even remind him of his powers to hear cases himself. . While in the past two of the three judges had to be clerics, the new rules state that two of them can be lay people, with a license in canon law, the minimum requirement for someone to preside as a judge.
In some cases, including those where both parties have filed a joint petition or where one spouse has filed a petition and the other has consented and where the evidence is so clear that further investigation is not necessary , the new rules called for the process to be made shorter.
Each country’s Bishops’ Conference has also been urged to be more charitable and find ways to ease the financial burden of annulment proceedings. The old rules also call on the court to be sensitive to the needs of these couples and the new rules remind the Church to take this seriously.
Oliveira says the reforms are welcome as they do not change church doctrine on aspects of marriage but add charity, mercy and a human touch. “When spouses come to court, we first try to give them hope and tell them that all is not lost and that they can still lead a happy life. The new rules indicate that the Church wants to take care of people in their difficult times in married life and not run away from them because of their broken marriage. The pope, while insisting on the indissolubility of the sacred bond of marriage, has shortened the annulment procedure to allow Christians to live according to their faith and experience the love of God,” he said. he declared to YOU.
The Goa court is receiving about 130 applications for marriage annulment but is still trying to see if the council can first help couples reconcile their marriages. In 2014, the court registered 106 motions for annulment and decided 110 cases (including pending cases).
“We have decided to publish these provisions which favor not the nullity of marriages, but the speed of trials as well as the simplicity due to them, lest the clouds of doubt darken the hearts of the faithful awaiting a decision. on their condition due to a delay. sentence,” states the papal document “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (The Lord Jesus, the Sweet Judge) where the new rules were set out.

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