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Metropolitan Tribunal

What is the Metropolitan Tribunal?

A diocesan bishop is the chief judge in a diocese, and he stably exercises his judicial authority through a judicial vicar, who is sometimes referred to as the offcialis.  The judicial vicar is the moderator of the tribunal, and is responsible for its day to day operations.

A tribunal is an ecclesiastical court where a case can be presented to be judged according to canon law.  The most common types of cases presented judge the validity or the invalidity of marriage.

The term metropolitan designates the tribunal of an archdiocese, which normally serves as a court of appeals for an ecclesiastical province.  In the case of the ecclesiastical province of New Jersey, not all cases that are appealed, are appealed to the Archdiocese of Newark.

Marriage Nullity Cases

 
Most problems presented to the Tribunal for judgment deal with the validity of marriage. Persons who believe that their marriages were invalid in the eyes of God and the Church, petition the Tribunal to declare their marriage null and void. The work of the Tribunal mainly involves the process of investigating and arriving at the truth of such petitions. Above all, we assure those who, because of the heartbreak of an ended marriage, feel alienated from God and the Church, that the Tribunal staff is ready to offer them the comfort of the Lord's healing and reconciling presence. Anyone wishing to file a petition is asked to go to their local parish, or any parish in the Archdiocese, so that someone there may give you the forms and assist you in filling them out.

 

Pre-Marital Issues

can. 1059 - Even if only one party is Catholic, the marriage of Catholics is governed not only by divine law but also by canon law, without prejudice to the competence of civil authority concerning the merely civil effects of the same marriage. 

When a Catholic person is planning on getting married, there may be certain permissions/dispensations that must be granted in order for the person to validly contract marriage. The priest (or deacon) preparing you for your marriage may need to contact the staff at the Tribunal in order to ensure that all the canonical requirements are fulfilled.  If you have any question, please feel free to contact our office for more information.