They mark a dramatic shift from the position of Francis’ predecessors in the Vatican, who have taken the view that making annulments easier would be to encourage divorce and soften the Church’s teaching that marriage is for life.
Catholic doctrine does not recognise divorce, although the Church accommodates those who go through civil divorce on the grounds that a couple who part must settle on who will bring up their children and how their property should be divided.
The Vatican said nothing about what kind of changes will be announced during the midday – Rome time – news conference.
However the titles of the two decrees, Latin for “The Gentle Judge, The Lord Jesus” and “The Meek and Merciful Jesus,” led experts to believe Francis is seeking to make life easier for Catholics who civilly divorce and remarry outside it to stay in the church.
There are a few ways a person may be “divorced” but free to marry.Since the marriage vow is until “death,” an annulment is not necessary.Of course a person may choose to seek an annulment in such a case.An annulment is recognition from the Church that the marriage was never valid in the first place.It can be given if a husband or wife does not want children, or did not understand their marriage vows, or has lost their Christian faith.