Catholic Church gives green light to “quickie annulments” in Portugal

Lisbon’s Patriarchate – the archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church – has announced that quickie marriage annulments will now be available, at no cost, thanks to changes brought in by Pope Francis in Rome last September.

According to national tabloid Correio da Manhã, the news could see the number of annulments skyrocket.

In the last decade, there have been only 651, writes CM: 37 in the Alentejo/ Algarve, 383 in Lisbon and the rest scattered around the country, including 50 in Madeira.

Until September, marriage annulment was a process that could take up to five years, explains the paper, and cost €1,500.

Annulments will be offered in cases where marriages have broken down over infidelity, or dependence on drugs, alcohol or gambling.

CM explains the new approach cannot be seen as the Catholic Church recognising divorce. Annulments are different, it explains, in that the marriage is considered invalid.