From a reader…
I am marrying a previously married woman who two weeks ago recieved a dissolution of her previous marriage in “favor of the faith” from the Holy Father.
Today she recieved the official decree from the CDF.
I’m curious how did this process work? Did the Pope actually read the case (it’s not signed by him, but stated he granted his “affirmative? Or does the CDF conditionally approve such decrees and they bring a stack to him and he approves them all at once?
With your background Vatican, I’d be curious about what exactly happened the last 4 months we were waiting on this privlidge of the faith case.
Finally, the decree has a notation in the upper lefthand corner (Prot. N . 39/17M). I assume that’s some archival notation but was just curious whatit actually means.
Anyway, I am a big fan of your blog. If you have the time to respond at all it would be most appreciated!
Since that kind of process was well outside my activity when I was there, I’ve asked help from one of my experienced, tame canonists.
GUEST CANONIST RESPONSE
Four months seems like a very fast turnaound time. This woman was fortunate (if one can be permitted to believe in fortune under such circumstances!).
I do not know how things are done under this pontificate, but the Holy Father would not personally read the cases, any more than a local bishop would personally read a formal nullity case or a Pauline Privilege case. These things are instead prepared by those who have the expertise to do so.
I assume, but do not know, that such cases are presented to the Holy Father in the course of the CDF’s routine (weekly? — in this pontificate I don’t know) meetings with him, and he simply gives a “yes” — much like when I present a formal nullity case to the Judicial Vicar or the Presiding Judge/Praeses and he knows I’ve done all the work correctly: he just says, “write the Sentence” — usually without even looking at it.
The Protocol Number is that this was the 39th Matrimonial case they received in 2017.
These are the norms: HERE