Canonical and Tribunal Services


Welcome to Canonical and Tribunal Services of the Diocese of Austin. The ministry of the Tribunal includes all matters concerning the application and practice of canon law within the diocese.

The Judicial Vicar (Officialis), as the chief judge and supervisor of the Tribunal, or court of law, is assisted by  the Adjutant Judicial Vicar (Vice-Officialis). Other judges, assessors, auditors, advocates and notaries assist in processing the annulment cases and the judicial services of the Tribunal. Although the Bishop can reserve certain cases to himself, the decisionis of the Judicial Vicar cannot be appealed to the Bishop, but must instead be appealed to the Appelate Court.

The Judicial Vicar is a consultant to the Bishop and coordinates all aspects of diocesan administration and services that are concerned with the application and practice of canon law throughout the Diocese of Austin. The canon lawyers, trained professionals of this office provide services and canonical counsel to the Bishop, offices, parishes and institutions of the diocese.

The Tribunal ministry is one part of the Church’s effort to offer healing and hope for the victims of broken marriages. The Tribunal investigates cases of marital failure to determine whether parties in certain instances may be free to remarry.