Declaration of nullity
| Annulment (Catholic Church) ： ウィキペディア英語版|
In the Catholic Church, a declaration of nullity, commonly called an annulment and less commonly a decree of nullity,〔(Annulment/Decree of Nullity ), EWTN.com, accessed 9/11/2015〕 is a judgement on the part of an ecclesiastical tribunal determining that a marriage was invalidly contracted, or less commonly, a judgement determining that sacred ordination was invalidly conferred.
A matrimonial nullity trial,〔(Pope Francis reforms Church law in marital nullity trials ), accessed 9/11/2015〕 governed by the Church's canon law, is a judicial process whereby a canonical tribunal determines whether the marriage was void at its inception (ab initio). A "Declaration of Nullity" is not the dissolution of an existing marriage (as is a dispensation from a marriage ''ratum sed non consummatum'' and an "annulment" in civil law), but rather a determination that consent was never validly exchanged due to a failure to meet the requirements to enter validly into matrimony and thus a marriage never existed.〔(Press conference details marriage law reforms ), accessed 9/11/2015〕
The Catholic Church teaches that, in a true marriage, one man and one woman become "one flesh" before the eyes of God. Various impediments can render a person unable to validly contract a marriage. And, besides impediments, marriage consent can be rendered null due to invalidating factors such as simulation or deceit, or to psychic incapacity.
''For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed. In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.'' - Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1629)
In 2015, the process for declaring matrimonial nullity was amended by the matrimonial nullity trial reforms of Pope Francis, the broadest reforms to matrimonial nullity law in 300 years.〔(Pope Francis announces biggest changes to annulment process in centuries ), The Washington Post, accessed 8 September 2015〕 Prior to the reforms, a declaration of nullity could only be effective if it had been so declared by two tribunals at different levels of jurisdiction. If the lower courts (First and Second Instance) were not in agreement, the case went automatically to the Roman Rota for final decision one way or another.
==Reasons for nullity==
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