Home » Posts tagged 'Cleveland diocese'

Cleveland ends fees for marriage annulments

June 10th, 2014 Posted in National News Tags: , ,


Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Couples seeking a marriage annulment in the Diocese of Cleveland no longer have to pay a fee for the service.

Under a plan announced by Bishop Richard G. Lennon June 4, all fees in annulment cases were eliminated. Cases already filed as well as marriage dispensations and marriage permissions also are covered by the policy change.

Bishop Lennon said in a press release that he hoped the change will encourage men and women in irregular marriages, especially those who have been divorced and remarried, to undertake greater participation in the life of the church.

The diocese’s judicial vicar said the announcement was welcomed by the diocesan marriage tribunal staff.

“It is important because the process is difficult to begin with and to put another stumbling block in the way of individuals, who especially in this time are experiencing financial difficulties, seems to be rather unfair,” Father Gary Yanus said.

“People who want to address their right as Catholics to the sacramental life of the church, it seems the fee discourages a number of people from presenting a case which has merit. This is a good way of encouraging people to come forward and see where they stand with the church and reflect on their life with the Lord and the church as well,” Father Yanus said.

Cleveland is the most recent diocese to waive fees for annulments. Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka, as archbishop of Detroit, eliminated fees for tribunal services in the 1980s. The Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, ended its fees in 2000.

The decision comes at no small cost to the Cleveland diocese. In 2013, with 512 annulment cases filed and the diocese’s estimated average cost of $450, the diocese is forfeiting more than $230,000 in fees.

Father Yanus said the diocese is on pace to receive 500 to 600 annulment applications in 2014. He said he was unsure whether the number would rise in the future because of the change.

The waiver includes all fees related to any psychological assessments that must be undertaken as a case winds its way through the marriage tribunal.

“People (at the marriage tribunal) think of their jobs as ministry and are very pleased that hopefully we’ll be able to reach more people,” Father Yanus said. “We see this as a reconciling ministry as well and to take a significant obstacle out of the way is really a great thing.”

Bishop Lennon cited Pope Francis’ oft-repeated called for mercy within the church in making the announcement.

“This is an effort to promote the common good for the faithful of Cleveland,” the bishop said.


Comments Off on Cleveland ends fees for marriage annulments

Cleveland bishop will reopen 12 parishes after Vatican decrees


Catholic News Service

Bishop Richard G. Lennon of Cleveland said he will reopen 12 parishes as directed by the Vatican to promote “peace and unity” in the diocese.

His announcement came a month after the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy overturned the closings of the parishes in 2009 and 2010 and said the churches must be restored for worship.

Read more »

Comments Off on Cleveland bishop will reopen 12 parishes after Vatican decrees

Bishop might appeal Vatican’s reversal of parish closings


Catholic News Service

Bishop Richard G. Lennon of Cleveland said he has not decided whether to appeal a series of Vatican decrees that reversed the closings of 13 parishes.

In a letter sent March 27 to be distributed at Masses the weekend of March 31-April 1, Bishop Lennon said he was continuing to study the decrees from the Congregation for Clergy in a effort to “fully understand” them.

Read more »

Comments Off on Bishop might appeal Vatican’s reversal of parish closings