The Bishop of a Diocese exercises judicial power within and over the local Church which he serves. Normally, the Diocesan Bishop exercises his judicial power through his Judicial Vicar. The Judicial Vicar serves the Diocesan Bishop as his chief adviser in matters of Church law. The Judicial Vicar and those assigned to the Tribunal by the Diocesan Bishop investigate and adjudicate matters according to the norms and procedures established in Church law. Matters which come to the attention of the Diocesan Bishop and are then assigned to his Tribunal are adjudicated according to the norm of law. Thereby, the Tribunal renders binding decisions and resolves contentions. In all these matters, the highest law in the Church, which is the salvation of souls, serves as the foundational principle.
While the Diocesan Tribunal is not solely a marriage tribunal, most of the Tribunal’s time is devoted to adjudicating causes to establish a person’s freedom to marry. This process is often referred to as an annulment. If you are interested in petitioning the Tribunal for such a determination please click on the “Establishing Your Freedom to Marry” button below.