Defender of the Bond
Promoter of Justice
Assessor and Auditor
Most people approach the Tribunal to petition for a declaration of nullity of marriage (annulment). Petitioning for a declaration of nullity is a way for someone to challenge and clarify his or her status in the Church. A person’s status in the Church, namely, whether the Church considers the person to be married or not married, determines which options are available in the future. If a declaration of nullity is granted, then a future marriage or admittance into a seminary or religious life are options that may be available. But, it is important that a person clarify his or her status first, so that they can know which options are available in the future. Therefore, please refrain from setting definite plans until your status has been clarified. See the links to the left for some important information which should be kept in mind before petitioning for a declaration of nullity.
For other questions or concerns email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Tribunal at 719-636-2345.
Purpose of the Diocesan Tribunal
The Diocesan Tribunal of Colorado Springs is the legal forum of the Diocese which administers justice by exercising the judicial power of the bishop. The Tribunal functions in a manner similar to civil court, and is concerned with spiritual matters and Canon law. The Tribunal is available to everyone, and, upon request, will vindicate a person’s rights, and make a declaration of legal facts in a dispute. The Tribunal also investigates allegations of ecclesiastical laws having been broken and may impose or declare a penalty when it is appropriate.
Nullity and Dissolution Cases
In some instances a marriage can be declared null and void from the very beginning. To do so, it must be possible to prove, in the external forum, that: (1) the marriage was not celebrated with the required form; or (2) the parties were not legally capable of marriage; or (3) the consent given was defective. Therefore, there are three distinct types of nullity cases which can be pursued. See the guide to the left for help determining which type of case you need.
In other instances a marriage can be dissolved if certain conditions are met. These conditions involve either the non-baptism of one or both parties of a marriage, or not having consummated the marriage. In order for dissolution of marriage these conditions must be able to be proven in the external forum. There are three types of dissolution of marriage, which are: (1) The Pauline Privilege; (2) The Petrine Privilege; (3) Ratum et Non Consummatum.