It is true that the contentious trial of the plea for a Marriage Nullity Declaration for a given cause – as concretely and specifically provided by Church Law in kind and in number – is quite demanding and therefore tedious for the couple as well as for the Tribunal concerned. It is true that the said procedural trial could and should be abbreviated one way or another – without the least sacrificing what is true, what is right, what is just. It is wherefore both opportune and admirable for Pope Francis – “Lolo Kiko” continuously and ardently pleading for “Mercy and Compassion” - to seek the abbreviation of the Marriage Nullity Proceedings. Below enumerated as provided by Canon Law are the major or basic phases of the said Process:
1. Petition presenting the Marriage Nullity Suit.
2. Summons of the Petitioner and Respondent.
3. Determination of the Marriage Nullity Ground.
4. Opening of the Trial.
5. Declaration of the Petitioner and the Respondent.
6. Presentation of Documentary Evidence.
7. Testimonies of the Witnesses in the Case.
8. Pronouncement of the Experts on the alleged Nullity Ground.
9. Conclusion of the Case.
10. Pleadings by Procurator-Advocate and the Defender of the Bond.
11. Judgment by the Tribunal.
12. Appeal to the Superior Tribunal.
13. Review of the Judgment.
14. Pronouncement of the Superior Tribunal.
As to the time span needed for the procedural resolution of every Case, the more relevant factors therein is the intricacy of its alleged nullity ground plus the local and/or foreign home addresses of the Parties in the Case plus the latter’s Judgment on the Case in the “Affirmative” or “Negative” plus the formal Notification of the Parties concerned and the Church where the marriage took place for the required registry of the Final Judgment in its Canonical Book of Marriages.