Tribunal of the Diocese of Buffalo
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We welcome you to this new site and hope that you find it beneficial. We have included information for both those with general questions about the process as well as information for those who have more specific questions to be answered. This new site has been designed to help you understand the Role of the Tribunal, in particular for marriage cases. If you cannot find the information you seek at this site, please call your local parish to speak with a priest, deacon or case sponsor.
The mission of the Diocesan Tribunal of the Diocese of Buffalo is to provide justice for all persons who approach the Church's court system. This mission is fulfilled through the rendering of judgments concerning people's rights and obligations as well as their status in the Church. Such judgments seek to discern the truth about a matter and then seeks to initiate solutions that provide justice based upon the law of the Scriptures, the Magisterial Teaching of the Church, and the Code of Canon Law.
Bishop Richard J. Malone has announced plans for the restructuring of the Diocesan Tribunal. These changes are a response to the September 8, 2015, Apostolic Letter by Pope Francis entitled, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (MI), regarding the restructuring of the Tribunal's (diocesan court) procedures pertaining to marriage nullity cases. The new law was promulgated and took effect December 8, 2015. The bishop also announced that the Diocese of Buffalo would no longer charge fees related to the annulment process.
The Diocesan Tribunal is also the forum in which the judicial authority of the bishop is exercised. It is responsible for investigating and adjudicating matters that need to be resolved according to the norms and procedures established by the Scriptures, the Magisterial Teaching of the Church and the Code of Canon Law. The Diocese has already begun preparing for the full implementation of these revised procedural norms because the changes are extensive and will involved some updated procedures.
Msgr. Salvatore Manganello has stated that there is much interest and some misinformation because of the extensive media coverage that has surrounded Pope Francis' comments on the annulment process. We invite you to read about the new procedures in Msgr. Manganello's Letter.
Official English translation of Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter, motu proprio,-Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Translation by the Canon Law Society of America