Tribunal of the
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
Pope Francis reforms Church law in marital nullity trials
The Sacrament of Marriage
The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between the baptised persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament
(Catholic Catechism, n. 1601)
The Church holds the exchange of consent between spouses to be the indispensable element that makes the marriage. If consent is lacking, there is no marriage
(Catholic Catechism, n. 1626)
The Church acknowledges the reality of separation and divorce. The end of a marriage under such circumstances can be a traumatic experience for all concerned.
The Catholic Church reaches out in support of those experiencing this ordeal, while upholding the permanence of a true Christian marriage. These two aspects of the Church’s position are evident in the work of the Tribunal of the Catholic Church.
Much of the work of the Tribunal centres on annulment applications and all questions in relation to this matter should be directed to the Tribunal. However, the Tribunal is also involved in a variety of other areas where advice is required on issues relating to Canon Law. The Tribunal does not offer counselling or marriage guidance.
The Tribunal in Parramatta is an office of the Regional Tribunal of Sydney (NSW and the ACT), responsible for the preparation and assessment of all cases (marriage and otherwise) presented to it by people who reside within the Diocese of Parramatta. It prepares formal nullity cases for the Regional Office as well as other types of cases.
In addition to answering some of the more common questions about annulments (see bottom of the page), this webpage also provides an overview of the other aspects of the Tribunal’s work and Canon Law-related news.
Apart from managing nullity of marriage cases, the local Tribunal gives advice on a range of issues dealing with the law of the Church. Some of these are:
- Temporal Goods of the Church, especially finance and property
- Statutes for diocesan and parochial organisations
- Relationships between the Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches
- Advice to the bishop, clergy and laity on general canonical matters
If you have any questions regarding the work of the Tribunal of the Catholic Church or would like to find out how the Tribunal can help, please contact us.
The Tribunal of the Catholic Church
The Office Manager
Address: Suite 5 Level 1 10 Victoria Road Parramatta 2150 NSW
Post: PO Box 3006 North Parramatta 1750 NSW
Phone: 02 9630 3683
Fax: 02 9630 3934
An annulment does not claim that there was no love between the parties, or that they were lacking in sincerity, effort nor commitment.
In Australia, an annulment has no effect in civil law.
To see whether there was an incapacity, the Tribunal considers many matters. These include the intentions of the parties, their maturity, their freedom to act responsibly, their freedom from undue influence and pressures and their capacity to undertake the essential obligations of marriage. There are other grounds for nullity of marriage apart from incapacity.
The decision is made by Judges of the Tribunal. What is known as the ‘First Instance Judgement’ will declare either that the marriage is certainly null (an affirmative decision), or that the evidence does not allow such a decision to be made (a negative decision).
Catholic Church in Australia
Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand
Canon Law Society of Great Britain & Ireland
Pope Benedict XVI Address to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota for the Inauguration of the Judicial Year
Code of Canon Law
Fr Ratzinger to Benedict XVI
Pope Makes Changes to Canon Law