The mission of the Tribunal is to minister to people regarding their rights and duties under the laws of the Roman Catholic Church (Canon Law). Canon Law is intended to protect the essential truths of our faith through norms designed to preserve and promote community. Canon Law addresses issues related to church governance, administration of the sacraments, relationships among communities of the faithful, financial management of church assets, various offenses and penalties, and procedures for the exercise of one’s rights under church law.
- The Tribunal processes all petitions for Declaration of Nullity or “annulments” within the diocese (A Time for Healing).
- The Tribunal is also charged with the regulation of the Sacrament of Marriage within the diocese. All requests for permission and/or dispensation to marry are processed by this office. If a priest or deacon decides to delay a marriage, the Tribunal also serves as the first instance of recourse (“Joined in Christ”).
- At the request of the Bishop, the Tribunal gathers information and documentation for petitions for laicization from priests no longer active in ministry. The petitions are then presented to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome.
- The Tribunal also serves as the canonical consultant to the diocese on matters pertaining to the Sacraments of the Church and the application of Canon Law.
- The Tribunal is also assigned with the administration of all bequests made to the diocese and any diocesan entities in the form of estates and trusts in accordance with diocesan policy and procedures.