Last October, Cardinals Burke, Muller and others published a book, "Remaining in the Truth of Christ", intending that it be "food for thought" during last October's sin-nod. Recall that this is the book that Cardinal Baldiserri had stolen from the mailboxes of the attending synod fathers. Cardinal Burke's essay outlined the development of the Church's annulment process over the centuries and cautioned against a radical overhaul. I point out that Cardinal Burke is a canon lawyer. He spoke on September 8th at the Franciscan University at Steubenville and voiced concerns over the provisions that are found in Pope Francis' Moto Proprio. Follow this link to Fr Z's post with video embedded; Father gives pointers regarding the location of Cardinal Burke's talk on the video.
Consider two of the provision in conjunction with one another. One provision allows the local bishop to pass judgment regarding certain annulment cases. It's worth noting that most bishops are not canon lawyers, and marriage has juridical considerations that need to be carefully and knowledgeably weighed. Now consider that in many cases, these decisions do not have to be evaluated by a second tribunal court. A crucial provision for "checks and balances" has been eliminated in the name of "expediency and mercy" - a provision that in actuality is necessitated all the more since the first decisions will fall into the purview of those not trained to evaluate nullity petitions. They might wind up declaring null a marriage that is, in actually, canonically and sacramentally binding. Even more disconcerting is the expedition of those cases where both parties are in agreement as to the alleged invalidity of marriage. Do we see the danger of collusion here in the denial of a valid marriage? Dr. Peter's two posts are here and here. As I said earlier, I'm not a canon lawyer, but some dangers are apparent just by dint of common sense.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am also troubled by the timing of these Moto Proprios. This happened just a few weeks prior to the