About Us

You are here:

The Mission of this Office of the Tribunal, under the guidance of our Bishop, is to reflect and experience Jesus Christ in the ministry of justice through the compassionate and equitable application of church law and to protect the rights and dignity of each person without discrimination and to provide an opportunity for healing.

The Tribunal is the official ecclesiastical court of the Catholic Church, using canon law, the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the Western world, and the internal legal system of the Catholic Church. The Tribunal is the institution established by canon law as the judicial arm of the bishop’s government of the diocese.  As such, it is the court system of the Church and the canonical forum for the resolution of legal questions arising from the activity of the Church and of the faithful. It adjudicates cases (1) to prosecute or to vindicate the rights of physical or juridic persons; (2) to declare juridic facts; and (3) to impose or declare the penalty for offenses against church law. The majority of the caseload involves parties who have petitioned the Tribunal for a declaration of nullity of their marriages. Members of the Tribunal also provide canonical advice, education, and assistance to the bishop, diocesan, and parish staff, religious orders, other Catholic institutions and associations, and the faithful of the diocese.