Church annulment body elects 1st second-in-command | Inquirer News

Church annulment body elects 1st second-in-command

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 12:13 AM July 11, 2016

NOVALICHES Bishop Antonio Tobias has been elected second in command of the Catholic Church body that handles annulments for Catholic marriages in the Philippines.

The prelate will be the first to hold the post as vice judicial vicar of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal that is under the leadership of Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz.


According to a post on CBCPNews, the official news service of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Tobias, a canon lawyer, was elected to the post by the bishops on the first day of their plenary assembly held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila on Saturday.

The election also took place as the CBCP gears up for Church law reform in marital nullity cases.


From the lower tribunals, the annulment process in the Church is elevated to the appellate tribunal which functions somewhat like the Supreme Court.

Streamlined procedure

In August 2015, Pope Francis announced reforms streamlining the Church’s procedure for marital nullity while affirming the longstanding Catholic teaching on marriage indissolubility.

The main goal of the new norms, which is contained in the Apostolic Letter Mitis et Misericors Iesus, is pastoral and seeks to reach out to families suffering from a broken marriage.

While the Pope has opted to simplify and speed up the process, the CBCP said the doctrine about the sacredness of marriage remains “unchanged.”

“The declaration of nullity of marriages is not divorce,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Soc Villegas, CBCP president, previously said.

Cruz, for his part, said he expected the number of people who would seek marriage nullity to increase as a result of the reforms in the marriage nullity process.

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TAGS: annulment, Antonio Tobias, Catholic Church, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, marriage, Nation, News
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