World

Pope, decrying greed risk, mulls removing Catholic church charges for marriage annulments

  • Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • A gust of wind blows Pope Francis' mantle during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    A gust of wind blows Pope Francis' mantle during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis looks up as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis looks up as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis considers eliminating church charges for marriage annulments, revealing he once fired an official who tried to charge thousands of dollars for one.

Francis told participants Wednesday at a Vatican course about annulments that as bishop of Buenos Aires, he was dismayed to learn what hardships faithful incurred seeking annulments. Some needed to travel hundreds of kilometers (miles) and lose days of work to reach church tribunals. He also recalled sacking an unidentified church tribunal official, possibly a lawyer, who told someone that for $10,000 he would "take care of" both church and civil procedures over the annulment.

He said he was considering requests, made at a Vatican meeting last month about families, to make annulments cost-free.