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What is a Tribunal?

Church law calls for the existence of a Tribunal in every diocese of the world. The Tribunal of the Diocese of Manchester is under the direction of the Bishop of Manchester and is supervised by his delegate, the judicial vicar. He, together with his judges and a staff of specially trained and experienced priests, religious and lay persons, offers assistance to those who request that the Church study a marriage in order to determine whether or not there is any possibility of a declaration of invalidity. The Tribunal then investigates the marriage, and on completion of their investigation, declares whether or not invalidity has been proved.

The Tribunal is, first and foremost, a court of law. The law we adjudicate is the canon law of the Catholic Church, which has as its foundation and its heart the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Gospel. The fundamental law of the Church is the commandment of Jesus to love God above all else and to love one another as ourselves. The procedural laws which govern Tribunals, exist primarily to protect the rights of all persons connected with a Tribunal case by providing a structured process of examining the issues and questions surrounding marriage and divorce.

For more information, please contact:
(603) 669-3101

Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire

153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
(603) 669-3100
Fax: (603) 669-0377

© Diocese of Manchester