Diocese of Pittsburgh, inspired by Pope Francis, eliminate fees for marriage annulments

The Diocese of Pittsburgh is eliminating fees for marriage annulments in keeping with comments by Pope Francis that the church should make it easier for some divorced Roman Catholics to remarry and receive other sacraments.

Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said Wednesday: "My staff and I have long dreamed of this move. Our dear Pope Francis inspired us to act now."

It's not immediately clear whether other large dioceses in the state are considering similar moves. A northern Indiana diocese eliminated annulment fees last year.

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

The fees are typically a few hundred dollars.

The Pittsburgh diocese says a recent fundraising campaign made the move possible.