Religion: Tidings

CATHOLIC DIVORCE?

Vatican observers think that Pope John Paul II may soon attempt a crackdown on U.S. marriage annulments, which a Roman Catholic must obtain to remarry and remain a church member in good standing. Annulments are now so widespread that they are sometimes called "Catholic divorce." In 1968 only 338 were granted in the U.S. In 1978 there were 27,670. The increase came because U.S. annulment procedure has been streamlined, and the grounds—once limited to such strict factors as force, fraud, bigamy or impotence—have been quietly loosened. Many diocesan court judges now accept evidence of serious psychological "immaturity" as ex post...

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