Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone has decided to eliminate all fees associated with seeking a marriage annulment through the Diocese of Buffalo’s Marriage Tribunal.
For the past several weeks, diocesan officials had been working on the plan to eliminate annulment fees prior to the Sept. 8 announcement by Pope Francis to simplify the annulment process.
“The hope is that this decision will open the door for many more people to participate fully in the sacramental life of the hurch,” Bishop Malone said. “Often people are discouraged from seeking an annulment because of the perceived financial burden attached to an annulment process. Requesting a fee for the annulment process has been an enormous psychological hindrance.”
Previously, the fee had partially covered the cost of operating the Tribunal Office which is responsible for processing annulment cases. While the fee was reduced or waived for those who could not afford it, the very existence of a fee was disheartening to many people and blocked the way for them to seek an annulment. By taking this step, Bishop Malone said he hopes that those who have been unable or unwilling to pursue an annulment will now be able and willing to do so.
Bishop Malone is encouraging pastors and other hurch leaders to continue to make every effort to assure parishioners in divorced situations that the hurch loves and welcomes them.
For more information, about the annulment process please contact the Tribunal at 716-847-8769.
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