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Marriage Tribunal

The Church is aware of the stresses in our modern world associated with marriage breakdown and divorce. The Church endeavours to reach out to the pain and hurt of the divorced, while upholding the permanence of a valid marriage.

The Marriage Tribunal in Diocese of Broken Bay is a service of the diocese to assist with the pastoral care of:

• divorced persons seeking to remarry in the Catholic Church,
• divorced and remarried persons seeking to have their marriage recognised in the Catholic Church,
• divorced persons seeking clarification of their standing in the Catholic Church for peace of conscience or for reassurance in developing relationships in the future.

The Marriage Tribunal is not involved with marriage preparation or counselling. More information about these can be found at “Marriage and Family.” 

The Marriage Tribunal office in the Diocese of Broken Bay operates as an office of the Interdiocesan Tribunal of Sydney for the Catholic Church in NSW and ACT. The Interdiocesan Tribunal staff are priests, deacons, religious and lay men and women. All are trained in Tribunal practice and some are trained in canon law.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is the intimate union of life and love that is permanent, faithful and open to new life. The Church, recognising that some marriages break down, cares about those who have suffered through the pain of separation and divorce. Although the Marriage Tribunal follows legal processes, it is there to respond pastorally to people who wish to clarify their status.

There are various types of cases that are presented at the Marriage Tribunal office depending on the particular circumstances of the marriage. The most common cases are those involving a request for an annulment of the marriage. The Tribunal is the Church court which, after a full investigation, may declare the annulment.