(Cleveland) - The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is immediately dropping all fees for marriage annulments, marriage dispensations and marriage permissions.

Bishop Richard Lennon says he hopes the decision will encourage greater participation in the Church by men and women who have found themselves in irregular marriage situations, such as divorce and remarriage. Lennon says, "This is an effort to promote the common good for the faithful of Cleveland."

The cost of a marriage annulment has been generally around $450. Those fees will now be assumed by the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal which handles such cases.

Bishop Lennon's decision comes as separated and divorced Catholics are expected to be the focus of a gathering of Bishops in Rome this summer, which will address the Church and the family in our culture.

Divorced Catholics who have not been granted an annulment are not allowed to receive all the sacraments of the church, including Holy Communion.

(Photo courtesy Diocese of Cleveland)

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