Vatican City, 5 November 2014 (VIS) – Before arriving in St. Peter's Square for the usual Wednesday morning general audience, Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the course on marriage organised by the Roman Rota, in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. The Pope commented that during the recent Synod of Bishops, there had been discussions regarding the procedures for annulment and the need to streamline them for reasons of justice. Francis also spoke of the many people who wait for years for a judgement to be reached. “Sometimes the procedures are very long and difficult, which does not help matters, and people give up”.
The Pontiff emphasised the importance of this type of course and the need to be careful to ensure that the procedures do not become linked to economic interests, referring to public scandals. He noted that during the Synod some proposals had been made regarding the costs of the process. “When spiritual interest is attached to economic interests, then it not a matter of God”. He concluded, “The Mother Church has enough generosity to be able to provide justice freely, as we are freely justified by Jesus Christ. This point is important – these two issues must be separate”.