CINCINNATI — In response to reforms announced by Pope Francis recently, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is eliminating the fees charged for marriage cases — the Tribunal process of seeking to have a marriage declared invalid. The change, effective Monday, Sept. 14., applies not only to new cases but also to anyone who has been paying on an installment basis for a case already concluded or for a case still in progress.
Mercy Sister Victoria Vondenberger, Director of the Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, said she is grateful for the elimination of fees. She is hopeful that the changes in procedures announced by Pope Francis, which take effect Dec. 8, will enable the Tribunal to process cases in less time to better serve the people whose lives await those decisions.
The fee for a formal declaration of nullity in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has been $300, about one fifth of the actual cost of the case. However, arrangements were always made for someone who could not afford the expense. For what is called a “lack of form” case, meaning a Catholic did not get married before a priest or deacon and two witnesses, the fee has been $35.