The mission of the Diocesan Tribunal 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. 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 information on this page is to assist the clergy and/or pastoral associates in the Diocese of Buffalo as they seek to provide guidance to any person who seeks to ask the Church to look into their previous marriage.
The information below pertains to the marriage nullity (annulment) process in the Diocese of Buffalo. We hope that it can be helpful to people seeking to begin the annulment process and that it can assist clergy and/or pastoral associates as they provide guidance to any person who seeks to ask the Church to look into their previous marriage. If you cannot find the information you need at this site, please contact the Tribunal.
To start the process please print, fill out and submit the following:
Read and complete the following forms:
As of September 2015, the Diocese of Buffalo has not charged any fees related to the annulment process.
A church annulment, properly called a “declaration of nullity,” is a finding by a tribunal that a relationship that looked like a marriage in fact lacked one or more essential properties for it to be a marriage as the Catholic Church understands it.
The Catholic Church defines marriage as both a contract and a covenant with essential human and spiritual components. Consent brings about a marriage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides the following definition 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 the spouses and the procreation and the education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of the of a sacrament.” (CCC 1601)
You certainly had a recognized civil marriage and your relationship was very real. The love you shared and the experiences you had were true and, in many cases, very good. It just means that the relationship that you had did not satisfy the requirements that the Church has to define something as a marriage. Only a valid exchange of consent to all of the elements of the Church’s definition can make a marriage valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
Your children are still legitimate in the eyes of the Church.
The only effects of an annulment are in the life of the Catholic Church.
The Diocese of Buffalo Tribunal does not charge any fees for the marriage nullity process.
The Catholic Church presumes all marriages are valid unless proven otherwise. If you’re a non-Catholic who has been married before, you would need to have an annulment for any prior marriage before you could marry a Catholic.
Rev. Msgr. Salvatore Manganello, STL, JCL
Judge and Defender of the Bond
Ms. Anne C. Ameno, JCL
Judge and Promoter of Justice
Rev. Elie Kairouz, JCL
Rev. Henry Orszulak
Promoter of Justice
Rev. Msgr. Jerome Sullivan, JCD
Defenders of the Bond
Rev. Gregory Faulhaber, STD
Rev. Jerome Kopec, MA, JCL
Rev. Francis Mazur
Rev. Msgr. Paul Litwin, MA, JCL
Deacon Daniel Brick
Reverend Richard DiGiulio
Priests and Deacons of the Diocese of Buffalo
The Tribunal will also accept general questions regarding the annulment process and procedures. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm.
Phone: (716) 847-8769
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