According to Miguel Angel Ortiz, a professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Benedict wasn’t so much addressing the specific issue of remarried divorcees but addressing the relation between the spouses’ personal faith and the validity of marriage, including its commitment to fidelity.
In a 2005 question-and-answer session with priests, the pope said he once believed that lack of faith was enough to declare a marriage invalid. But, after tasking theologians to look into the issue, he had “understood that the problem was very difficult” and required further study.
At the time, Benedict said it was “particularly sad” to see people marry in the church out of tradition instead of a faith commitment only to subsequently find faith and remarry.
For Ortiz, the pope’s reflection could “speed up the process of declaring a marriage invalid” without changing the substance of the process itself.