New bill aims to fast-track civil annulments for marriages nullified by church


Posted at Jul 24 2019 09:27 PM

MANILA—House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and his wife, Tingog Siniragan Party List Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, have filed a bill making it easy for couples who get a church annulment to get a civil annulment.

The couple earlier this month filed House Bill No. 1157, which seeks to recognize the civil effects of church annulment.

In the bill’s explanatory note, the Romualdezes said the civil effects of a marriage solemnized by the Church should also be applied should the marriage be annulled.

“Priests, pastors, imams and rabbis who solemnize marriage must have the authority to solemnize granted by the State," it said.

“Therefore, if a marriage can be legitimately contracted under the laws of the Church, then it follows that under the same laws, such marriage can also be nullified or annulled."

The bill cites significant reforms in the canonical procedure in marriage-nullity cases introduced in the Catholic Church by Pope Francis in the document “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus,” which streamlined many of the steps involved in the nullity process.

The Romualdezes said that the Family Code of the Philippines recognizes as valid a marriage solemnized under the laws of the Church.