RESCRIPTUM PERTAINING TO THE REFORM OF PROCEDURES FOR CASES OF NULLITY

RESCRIPTUM PERTAINING TO THE REFORM OF PROCEDURES FOR CASES OF NULLITY

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on Saturday, March 5 published the following translation of the Rescriptum ‘ex audientia’ pertaining to the Apostolic Letters ‘motu proprii’ of 15 August 2015, “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” and “Mitis et Misericors Iesus”. The document, written in Italian and signed by Pope Francis, was delivered to the Dean of the Roman Rota on 7 December 2015, ‘in primis vesperis sollemnitatis Inmaculatae Conceptionis Beatae Mariae Virginis’ (first vespers of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

The entry into force — by happy coincidence with the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy — of the Apostolic Letters motu propri ‘Mitis iudex Dominus Iesus’ and ‘Mitis et misericors Iesus’ of 15 August 2015 — given for the purpose of implementing justice and mercy with regard to the truth of the bond of those who have experienced the failure of marriage — poses, among other things, the need to harmonize the updated procedures for cases concerning marriage with the norms proper to the Roman Rota, pending the reform of the latter.

The recently concluded Synod of Bishops expressed a strong exhortation that the Church draw near to “the weakest of her members, who are experiencing a wounded or lost love” (Final Report, n. 55), to whom confidence and hope must be restored.

Indeed, the laws now entering into force seek to show the Church’s closeness to wounded families, with the desire that the many who experience the drama of a broken marriage may be touched by the healing work of Christ, through ecclesiastical structures, in the hope that they discern that they are the new missionaries of God’s mercy toward other brothers and sisters, for the benefit of the institution of the family.

Recognizing both the Roman Rota’s munus as ordinary Court of Appeal of the Holy See, and its role of safeguarding the unity of jurisprudence (Pastor Bonus, art. 126) and of assisting the ongoing formation of pastoral workers in the Tribunals of the local Churches, the following is hereby established:

i.

The laws reforming the aforementioned marriage-related procedures shall abrogate or derogate every contrary law or norm heretofore in effect, whether general, particular or special, even if approved in forma specifica (such as, for example, the motu proprio ‘Qua Cura’, given by my Predecessor Pius xi in times far different from the present).

ii.

  1. In the causes for marriage nullity before the Roman Rota, the dubbium shall be fixed according to the ancient formula: An constet de matrimonii nullitate, in casu.
  2. There shall be no appeal from the judgements of the Rota with regard to the invalidity of sentences or decrees.
  3. There shall be no recourse by means of a Nova Causae Propositio before the Roman Rota after one of the parties has contracted a new canonical marriage, unless the injustice of the decision is manifest.
  4. The Dean of the Roman Rota shall have the authority to dispense with, for serious reasons, the procedural norms of the Rota.
  5. As requested by the Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches, jurisdiction has been restored to the territorial tribunals in iurium cases concerning marriage which have been submitted to the judgment of the Roman Rota on appeal.
  6. The Roman Rota shall adjudicate cases in accord with the Gospel precept of gratuity, i.e., with ex officio legal aid, except for a moral obligation that affluent faithful offer an oblatio iusititiae in favour of the causes of the poor.

May the faithful, especially those who are wounded and troubled, look to the New Jerusalem that is the Church as “Peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship” (Bar 5:4) and find once again the open arms of the Body of Christ, that they may intone the Psalm of the exiles (126[125]:1-2): “When the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy”.

Vatican, 7 December 2015

Franciscus

 

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VATICAN INSIDER TO FEATURE “THE BEST OF” – PAPAL RESCRIPT ON NEW PROCEDURES FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE

The Church lost two cardinals on December 9: Cardinals Julio Terrazas Sandoval Archbishop emeritus of the Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia and Carlo Furno, Grand Master emeritus of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. The College of Cardinals now has 216 members, 117 of whom are under the age of 80, thus cardinal electors in a future conclave. Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, will be the next cardinal to turn 80 on February 27, 2016.

VATICAN INSIDER TO FEATURE “THE BEST OF”

Because I have been under the weather this entire week and unable to prepare Vatican Insider, my colleagues will air “the best of” VI with a selection from the hundreds of Q&As I have done and also the interview segment which often is not an inteview but a special feature. So be sure to tune in and be surprised!

As you know, in the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on Sirius-XM satellite radio. If you live outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:30 am (Eastern time) and re-airs Sundays at 4:30 pm (ET). Check for your time zone. Past shows are found in Vatican Insider archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

PAPAL RESCRIPT ON NEW PROCEDURES FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE

(Vatican Radio, VIS) Pope Francis issued a legal decree on Friday, regarding the implementation of the recent reforms to the Church’s marriage law, specifically as far as the role of the Church’s highest appellate court – the Sacred Roman Rota – is concerned. The decree, called a rescript, has six main points, most dealing with technical matters of legal procedure within the Rotal system itself, and with the relationship of the Rota – which is the Church’s highest ordinary appellate court – to other courts in the Church’s legal system. (photo news.va – the Roman Rota)

ROMAN ROTA

In an explanatory note published in the edition of L’Osservatore Romano released Friday afternoon, the Dean of the Roman Rota, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto explained that the first part of the two-part rescript has the purpose of stressing that the reforms already enacted are now in force and must be followed and obeyed. “Because every law of epochal importance, such as the laws reforming the marital nullity process, meets understandable resistance,” explained Msgr. Pinto, “the Pope desired  to emphasize, as did John Paul II for the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law of 1983, that the law is now promulgated and requires compliance.”

For his explanation in L’Osservatore Romano, click here: http://www.news.va/en/news/implementation-and-compliance-the-dean-of-the-roma

Following is Vatican Radio’s translation of the full text of the rescript, made from the Italian text distributed by the Press Office of the Holy See:

The entry into force – in happy coincidence with the opening of the Jubilee of Mercy – of the Apostolic Letters motu proprio, Mitis iudex Dominus Iesus and Mitis et Misericors Iesus on August 15, 2015, given for the purpose of actuating justice and mercy regarding the truth of the bond of those who have experienced matrimonial failure, poses, among other things, the need to harmonize the renewed procedure for cases trying claims of marital nullity with the rules proper to the Roman Rota, pending the reform of these last.

The recently concluded Synod of Bishops expressed a strong exhortation to the Church, that the Church reach out toward “her most fragile children, marked by love wounded and lost (Relatio finalis, n. 55), to whom it is necessary to give back confidence and hope.

The laws now taking effect want to show precisely the closeness of the Church to wounded families, desiring that the multitude of those who live the drama of marital failure be reached by the healing work of Christ through ecclesiastical structures, in the hope that they might discover themselves new missionaries of God’s mercy toward other brothers and sisters, for the good of the institution of the family.

Recognizing the Roman Rota, in addition to its proper munus as ordinary appellate tribunal of the Apostolic See, as having also the munus of safeguarding the unity of law (Art. 126 § 1 PB) and that of aiding in the ongoing formation of pastoral workers in the Tribunals of the local Churches, the following is established:

I.

The laws reforming the aforementioned marriage nullity process abrogate or derogate every law or norm to the contrary hitherto applicable: general, particular, or special, even if approved in specific form (e.g. The MP Qua cura, given by my Predecessor Pius XI in times very much different from the present).

II.

  1. In marriage nullity cases before the Roman Rota, the dubbium is fixed according to the ancient  formula: An constet de matrimonii nullitate, in casu.
  2. There can be no appeal against decisions of the Rota with respect to invalidity of judgments or decrees.
  3. No recourse is allowed before the Roman Rota to the Nova Causae Propositio (N.C.P.), after one of the parties has contracted a new canonical marriage, unless the injustice of the decision is manifestly established.
  4. The Dean of the Roman Rota has the power to dispense for grave reason from the Rotal Norms in procedural matters.
  5. As urged by the Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches, competence in iurium cases connected to marital nullity cases submitted to the judgment of the Roman Rota on appeal, is restored to territorial tribunals.
  6. The Roman Rota shall judge cases according to the gratuity of the Gospel, that is, with ex officio legal aid, salvo the moral obligation for the wealthy faithful to make an oblatio iustitiae in favor of the causes of the poor.

May the faithful, especially the wounded and unhappy, look to the new Jerusalem that is the Church, as the “Peace of justice and glory of godliness, (Bar 5: 4)” and may it be granted to them, finding the open arms of the Body of Christ, to intone the Psalm of the exiles (126:1-2): “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.”