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Separate Ways

How canon law has renewed its concept of marriage

Freiburg, May 14, 2018

Separate Ways

Photo: Sandra Meyndt

The church sees marriage as an indissoluble bond. Canon law has no provision for divorce in a secular, legal sense. Nevertheless, it has a procedure – annulment – that makes separation possible. Through this process, a union can be declared invalid and doubts cast on whether it was properly concluded. Pope Francis simplified the process required for annulment in 2015. Freiburg theologian Steffen Engler has been investigating how the personal faith of the bridal couple contributes to the validity of a marriage.