A northern Indiana diocese has eliminated its $400 fee for Catholics who wish to have a previous marriage declared null.
The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend announced Thursday it was dropping the fee immediately to dispel misconceptions and help create a more welcoming process for those that may have felt they could not afford an annulment.
Until now, the diocese asked those who petitioned for annulments to offer $400 to defray administrative costs.
Catholic teaching forbids divorce but allows adherents to have marriages annulled if church tribunals rule that the unions for specific reasons weren’t valid in the first place and thus are void. The Vatican announced last month that Pope Francis has created a commission to in part streamline annulment procedures.