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Posthumous marriage annulments on rise in Italy

According to a report in The Independent (UK) Roman Catholic Italy is witnessing a boom in demand for posthumous marriage annulments with many unions hitting the rocks as soon as one of the partners is lowered into the ground.

The report, which is sourced to the Italian newspaper La Stampa says the surge in annulments, which is proving lucrative for ecclesiastical lawyers at the Holy Rota court in Rome, is largely down to applications by widowers who want to annul their first marriage to a dead wife so that they can favour children of a second marriage in their wills. Conversely, children of a first marriage who want to annul their dead father's second marriage so as not to lose an inheritance are also flooding the court.

"The Holy Rota is bursting with cases because of a new tendency by those who believe they have the right to 'posthumous' annulments," La Stampa said.

Vatican lawyers rake in cash as 'widow wars' go beyond the grave (Independent 18/1/05)

21 Jan 2005