The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarchate of Jerusalem is organizing conferences for Church tribunal officials about the implementation of new streamlined procedures for annulment cases—a matter of urgency in many societies in the Middle East.
In many Arabic countries, a Catholic Herald report notes,
there are no civil laws regarding marriage and divorce; the state relies
on religious bodies to certify marriages.
So civil divorce is
impossible for Catholics, and many leave the faith - becoming Orthodox or
even Muslim—to find a tribunal that will allow them to escape their
Lawyers and canonists from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Palestine,
Israel, and Jordan have participated in the sessions held by the
Jerusalem patriarchate, looking to speed the process by which Catholics
can resolve a marriage case.