Friday, January 29, 2010

Pope asks Roman Rota to encourage couples to stay married, avoid annulments

Annulments are not short-cuts to solve failed marriages, says the dean of the Church's central appellate court for nullity cases.

Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz said this today when the Tribunal of the Roman Rota was received in audience by Benedict XVI.

Illustrating this year's activity, the bishop said that the Church must face the challenge of a "widespread tendency that relativizes truth," especially "in declarations of marriage annulment."
In his intervention, published in L'Osservatore Romano, the Polish prelate said that among the cases the tribunal receives, those that affect the declaration of annulment of sacramental marriage "absorb to a large extent" its work.
Citing "Caritas in Veritate," Bishop Stankiewicz warned against "the widespread tendency that relativizes the truth and spreads a relativist vision of the human person and his nature."

This relativism also creeps into annulment cases, the bishop cautioned, "which in this way are deviated, becoming an easy way for the solution of failed marriages, thus emptying the meaning of the declaration of annulment, as well as the very meaning of the indissoluble character" of the sacrament.
Bishop Stankiewicz stressed that the declarations of annulment of marriage made by ecclesiastical tribunals in the dioceses "cannot be opposed to the principle of indissolubility."

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