All posts by Office of the Tribunal

Statement from Bishop Lynch on the Announcement of Changes to the Annulment Process from Pope Francis

“By now, most of you have heard that Pope Francis has “made annulment of marriages cheaper and easier,” as one news source hastily reported. This report has resulted in many questions concerning what was actually stated in the Pontiff’s Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio (of his own initiative), which was released on, September 8th, although the letter was dated August 15th. It is surprising that the content of this letter had not leaked out before its release!

The Latin title of the letter, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (“The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge”) is an accurate description of our Lord and a model for the Church to emulate. As an Apostolic Letter, it lays out new ecclesiastical (Church) laws in addition to or in place of existing laws. The purpose of the letter is to describe certain reforms of the canonical (the Church’s legal) process used when determining whether a marriage should be declared null. Or, to use the common but inaccurate expression, whether an “annulment” of a marriage should be granted.

As is the case with most new laws issued for the universal Church, a preparation period of three months is given before the law becomes effective, in order to allow bishops the opportunity to instruct and prepare the faithful in their dioceses concerning the meaning and impact of the new law. In his letter, Pope Francis established December 8, 2015 as the date on which this new law will take effect. In a style that is typical of our Holy Father, it is fitting that the effective date should coincide with the beginning of the Year of Mercy.”

Read the full statement from Bishop Lynch on his blog here.

DEPARTMENTAL CHANGE REGARDING STOCK/SECURITIES DONATIONS

As of May 1, 2017 responsibility for all Stock/Securities donations will be handled by the Campaign Processing Office.  Please direct all inquiries to either Kathy King of the Campaign Processing Office at PH: 727-341-6841 ; Fax: 727-347-6508 ; or email: kck@dosp.org  or Meegan Wright.  The Tribunal Office will continue to handle annulments, marriage files, dispensations/permissions and Estates & Trusts.

FEE UPDATE

Effective February 1, 2015, the fees for all Tribunal services were eliminated by direction of Bishop Robert N. Lynch.      This does not apply to cases begun prior to this date.      However, any remaining fees on cases currently in process will be disregarded.