244. A large number of Synod Fathers also "emphasized the need to make the procedure in cases of nullity more accessible and less time consuming, and, if possible, free of charge".263 The slowness of the process causes distress and strain on the parties. My two recent documents dealing with this issue264 have simplified the procedures for the declarations of matrimonial nullity. With these, I wished "to make clear that the bishop himself, in the Church over which he has been appointed shepherd and head, is by that very fact the judge of those faithful entrusted to his care".265 "The implementation of these documents is therefore a great responsibility for Ordinaries in the dioceses, who are called upon to judge some cases themselves and, in every case, to ensure the faithful and easier access to justice. This involves preparing a sufficient staff, composed of clerics and lay persons who are primarily deputed to this ecclesial service. Information, counselling and mediation services associated with the family apostolate should also be made available to individuals who are separated or couples in crisis. These services could also include meeting with individuals in view of the preliminary inquiry of matrimonial process (cf. Mitis Iudex, art. 2-3)".266
263 Ibid., 48.
264 Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (15 August 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 9 September 2015, pp. 3-4; cf. Motu Proprio Mitis et Misericors Iesus (15 August 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 9 September 2015, pp. 5-6.
265 Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (15 August 2015), Preamble, III: L'Osservatore Romano, 9 September 2015, p. 3.
266 Relatio Finalis 2015, 82.
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