Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 6th 2014 Contents A39
Thursday, November 6, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
VATICAN CITY---Pope Francis yesterday
denounced the hardships Catholics can
face when seeking marriage annulments,
revealing he once fired an official who
tried to charge thousands of dollars for
Francis told participants at a Vatican
course for officials dealing with annulments
that as bishop of Buenos Aires, he was dis-
mayed to learn that some faithful needed
to travel hundreds of kilometres (miles)
and lose days of work to reach church tri-
He also recalled sacking an unidentified
church tribunal official, possibly a lawyer,
who told someone: "Give me $10,000 and
I ll take care" of the annulment process.
"One must be careful that the procedures
don t become a business," Francis said.
The Vatican teaches that matrimony is
a sacrament and forbids divorce. Many
OUAGADOUGOU---Diplomats pressing Burkina
Faso s military ruler to return the country to civil-
ian rule said yesterday they are seeking names of
people who could serve as interim head of state
until elections are held.
The announcement came after the presidents of
Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana arrived in Burkina Faso
for talks. The African Union has given the military
a two-week deadline to hand over power or face
sanctions that could cripple the landlocked, des-
perately poor country.
Already though at least one opposition leader has
expressed doubt that progress could be made.
"We are coming to tell them that it is impossible
to appoint a transition leader today," said Ablasse
Burkina Faso s president of 27 years, Blaise Com-
paore, stepped down Friday amid mounting oppo-
sition to his bid to seek yet another term in office.
Compaore never identified a potential successor
and his departure has created a power vacuum in
which at least three people have tried to take over
control of the country in the past week.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon backed the
mediation effort by the three presidents and reiterated
his call for "an inclusive dialogue" to continue, UN
spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
The UN chief encourages all parties to reach an
agreement for a peaceful civilian-led transition as
soon as possible, he said.
Dujarric said a joint mission of the African Union,
UN, and the regional bloc known as ECOWAS is
continuing consultations with all parties and other
forces "to ensure a democratic civilian-led transition
in Burkina Faso." He said the mission "will continue
its efforts to help resolve the crisis in line with the
According to the country s constitution, the speak-
er of the parliament should be the one in charge
until elections can be held, according to Roch Marc
Christian Kabore, leader of an opposition political
Burkina Faso s military, however, has designated
Lt Col Isaac Yacouba Zida as the transitional leader
following the departure of Compaore.
The international community is ramping up pres-
sure to try to avoid prolonged martial rule or further
unrest in Burkina Faso, a country of relative stability
in a volatile region marked by coups and power
Nigeria s President Goodluck Jonathan, Senegal s
President Macky Sall and Ghana s President John
Dramani Mahama aimed to continue the discussions
during their visit to the country. (AP)
Catholics wanting to end their marriages seek annul-
ments, a church ruling their union was invalid and
thus, essentially, never existed. Possible reasons
include a spouse who never intended to be faithful
or who was psychologically too immature to under-
stand the forever nature of marriage in the Catholic
Annulments allow Catholics to marry again in
Francis said he was considering requests, made
at a recent Vatican meeting of bishops about families,
to make annulments cost-free.
Many dioceses customarily ask annulment peti-
tioners to pay hundreds of dollars to defray admin-
istrative costs, but some are now dropping fees, as
a northern Indiana diocese started doing last month.
Francis reiterated his resolve to streamline annul-
ment processes, which are sometimes "so long and
so weighty," he said, that people become "discour-
Pope mulls removing marriage annulment charges
3 presidents press
Burkina Faso on
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