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Pope Urges Lawyers to Avoid Divorce Cases

January 29, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Pope John Paul II urged judges and lawyers to refrain from taking on divorce cases, calling the ending of marriages a "festering wound" that is devastating society.

Instead, the 81-year-old pontiff said, lawyers and judges should help couples reconcile to preserve the divine "insolubility" of marriage, which he called the cornerstone of society.

John Paul made his comments in a speech to the Roman Rota, the Vatican court that handles annulments. Critics from across Italy's political spectrum expressed outrage at the pope's remarks. Lawyers groups said they didn't think his comments would affect their work.

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