"What we care about most with regard to those who are separated and living in new unions is their participation in the ecclesial community." Thus, the Church, "who is mother", "wants to show to everyone the face of God, faithful to His love, merciful and always able to restore strength and hope." With these words, Pope Francis addressed himself, on Saturday March 12th, in the Aula Paul VI, to the students in the Formation Course offered by the Tribunal of the Roman Rota the new matrimonial process and the super rato procedure.
"So many faithful—the Pope said—are suffering because their marriages have ended, and often they are oppressed by doubt as to whether their marriages were valid or not," and he continued, "in many cases, they have difficulty accessing the Church's juridical structures and feel the need for a simplification of the procedures." The Church has been pushed "to draw even closer to these children, responding to their legitimate desire for justice—the Pope added—with charity and mercy, as well as reflection on experience." Consequently, he recalled, "last year, on August 15th, the documents Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus and Mitis et Misericors Iesus were promulgated, which have reaped the fruits of the work of the Special Commission established on August 27th, 2014." In particular, the practice of double conforming decisions has been abolished, and the so-called shortened process has been created, thus putting the focus back on the figure and the role of the Diocesan Bishop—or the Eparch in the case of the Oriental Churches—, as judge of causes.
In light of the fact that "for many people, who have experienced unhappiness in marriage, checking whether their marriage was the valid, or not, represents a major opportunity." According to the Pope, these people "should be helped to walk on this road as smoothly as possible." Finally, Francis encouraged the students to "build on what they have learned" and "to promote justice: I urge you—he concluded—to consider this not as a trade, or worse as a source of power, but rather as a service for souls, especially for the most seriously wounded."