Pope Francis simplifies marriage annulment procedures.

FOX News Radio's Courtney Walsh has this report from the Vatican:

The Pope today published letters radically changing the way Catholics can get their marriages annulled - simplifying the process. Now annulments will be fast-tracked, no longer be subject to an automatic appeal and be free of charge.

Canon lawyer Monsignor Pinto said the Pope wants to reach out to the poor and show mercy to those whose marriages fail.

This affects those of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics who divorce and remarry in civil services. Without a costly and lengthy annulment, the church considered them still married to their first spouses and living in sin.

At the Vatican, Courtney Walsh, FOX News Radio.