Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Local Latin tribunal granted competence to judge marriage nullity petitions of Ukrainian Catholics, 22 May 1996.
In a Decree dated May 22, 1996, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura informed the Eparchial Bishop of Stamford, Connecticut (Ukrainian) that it had granted a prorogation of competence to the Tribunals of the Latin Church so that these Tribunals could hear cases of people belonging to the Ukrainian Catholic Church. What follows is the Signatura's Decree, in Latin, followed by a letter from the Signatura explaining the procedures to be followed:
SUPREMUM SIGNATURAE APOSTOLICAE TRIBUNALEInstantia die 3 Maii 1996, Exc.mus D.nus Basil H. Losten, Episcopus Eparchiae Stanfordensis Ucrainorum, petit ut sibi concedatur facultas "delegandi", seu committendi iuxta competentiam in Codice Iuris Canonici statutam - tribunalibus Ecclesiae latinae singulas causas fidelium suae Eparchiae.
SUPREMUM SIGNATURAE APOSTOLICAE TRIBUNAL
Re sedulo examini subiecta;
Considerata ratione adducta, seu impossibilitate constituendi proprium tribunal;
Viso can. 1537 Codicis Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, et perspecto quod hoc Supremum Tribunal facultate gaudet dispensandi a legibus processualibus (cfr. Epistula Secretariae Status, diei 22 novembris 1995, Prot. N. 381.775), non vero aliis concedendi huismodi facultatem dispensandi;
Consideratis provisionibus in casibus similibus datis;
Visis etiam litteris ab hoc Supremo Foro die 7 februarii 1996 ad Exc.mum Episcopum Eparchiae Stanfordensis Ucrainorum datis;
Vi art. 124, n. 3, Const. Ap. Pastor Bonus;
Audito Rev.mo Promotore iustitiae,
Omnes causae fidelium Eparchiae Stanfordensis Ucrainorum committuntur Tribunalibus Ecclesiae latinae quae competencia gauderent si partes ad praedictam eparchiam pertinentes essent ritus latini;
Tribunalia Ecclesiae latinae in pertractandis causis fidelium praedictae eparchiae, procedant oportet iuxta legem processualem propriam (seu Codicem Iuris Canonici, cann. 1400-1731), attamen iudicare debent ad ius substantiale quod attinet secundum legem Ecclesiarum orientalium.
Datum Romae, e Sede Supremi Signaturae Apostolicae Tribunalis, die 22 maii 1996.
/s/ + Zenon Grocholewski
SUPREMUM SIGNATURAE APOSTOLICAE TRIBUNALEYour Excellency,
Enclosed please find an authenticated copy of the decree by which the Apostolic Signatura has granted, for hearing cases of the faithful of your Eparchy, the prorogation of competence to the Tribunals of the Latin Church "which would be competent if the parties were of the Latin rite."
In regard to an explanation of the procedures to follow, this Supreme Tribunal wishes to point out the following:
a) the tribunals indicated in the decree have already been granted competence by virtue of this indult, so there is no delegation on your part;
b) the only intervention necessary by Your Excellency is to inform the tribunals of the Latin Church about this indult in some suitable manner, e.g., by informing the tribunal in question each time a case arises (perhaps through the parish priests of your Eparchy, who should also be informed of this);
c) in the event that the other spouse to a marriage belongs to another jurisdiction of any of the Eastern Churches, this indult does not prejudice the right of that spouse to petition his or her cause before the competent tribunal of the Eastern Church;
d) as it is understood that Your Excellency does not have your own eparchial tribunal, there is no need to send to this Dicastery information about the causes of the faithful of your Eparchy which have been treated during the year (these will be included in the annual reports of those Tribunals which have handled these causes). If, in the future, Your Excellency is able to constitute your own tribunal (cf. cann. 1066, § 1; 1086, §4; 1087, §3; and 1099, §2 CCEO), you should be sure to notify this Supreme Tribunal of such.
Taking this occasion to express to Your Excellency my sentiments of respect and esteem, I remain
Devotedly yours in the Lord,
/s/ Zenon Grocholewski
Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Local Latin tribunal granted competence to judge marriage nullity petitions of Ukrainian Catholics, 22 May 1996, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2006, 39-41.