Effective July 1, the Diocese of St. Cloud will no longer charge a fee to those seeking an annulment through the diocesan Tribunal.
The previous cost ranged from $100 to $500, though no one was ever turned away for inability to pay, according to Father Virgil Helmin, judicial vicar for the Tribunal, the office that assists in the annulment process.
Those who go through the annulment process may still choose to make a voluntary contribution to help offset administrative expenses, he said.
This change is due in part to an announcement last September by Pope Francis, who urged dioceses to simplify the process for those seeking a declaration of nullity of marriage, or an annulment, in order to be more pastoral and reduce the length of time the process takes. Those changes went into effect Dec. 8.
Additionally, the pope encouraged dioceses to reduce the financial burden of the annulment process wherever possible.
After consulting with Father Helmin, Bishop Donald Kettler approved the decision to no longer charge a fee.
For more information, visit http://tribunal.stcdio.org/annulments. Or call the diocesan Tribunal at: 320-251-6557.