- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is eliminating all fees for marriage annulments in light of comments by Pope Francis that the church should streamline the annulment process.

The Providence diocese said in a statement Tuesday that it hopes eliminating the fees will make it easier for divorced and remarried Catholics to “fully participate in the life of the Church.”

The $500 cost for marriage annulments in the diocese will be completely eliminated, effective July 1. The diocese says nobody has ever been turned away because of the inability to pay.

The diocese says its marriage tribunal reviews more than 100 cases each year.

Annulments declare a marriage invalid and treat it as though it never happened. Without an annulment, Catholics cannot remarry in the church.

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