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Osservatore Romano, Sept. 9, 2015

In yet another step to loosen long-held practices inside the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has eased the process for how divorced Catholics can remarry and stay inside the Church.

Two papal edicts, known as motu proprios, were published Tuesday that open the way to make the process of marriage "annulment" simpler and faster. "Pope Francis Reforms The Canonical Process For Annulments" is Wednesday's front-page headline from the Vatican daily Osservatore Romano.

Since Catholicism doesn't recognize divorce, Catholics wishing to remarry within the Church, must seek an "annulment" of their prior nuptials. This is typically a long and complicated process in front of a tribunal to prove that the original marriage did not meet Church requirements.

"With these new motu proprios, Pope Francis is not only reforming but in a sense re-establishing the canonical process for annulments," Osservatore Romano writes. "The new norms must be examined in the light of the historical evolution of the procedure for annulments, especially regarding what was determined by Benedict XIV, who in 1741 established the process of the two conforming decisions in response to the abuses in said procedure committed by bishops and tribunals." A historic decision indeed; read here for further analysis from the Boston-based Catholic affairs website Crux.

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How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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