Many Catholics are welcoming the open dialogue that Pope Francis has been spearheading with worshipers in his short time as head of the Catholic Church. While some conservative Catholics are reserving judgment, other Catholics are hailing the Pope for bringing real world solutions to a Church obviously rooted in tradition. This more open model of running the church has led to the recent announcement from the Pope that the process governing marriage annulments is going to be simplified to benefit those Catholics looking for a civil divorce and eventual marriage to a new spouse.
In the past, the church has been criticized for the large amount of time (and in many cases, money) that it takes bishops the world over to rule on an annulment. Many have reported this process can take years and cost thousands of dollars, thus holding up divorces and new marriages alike.
The new law of the Church is slated to take hold by the end of the year. It could certainly mean speedier divorces for the parties involved. Our advice is to continue to watch for news on the subject as we head into December and possibly January.