VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) – The Holy Father yesterday promulgated “Quaerit Semper”, an Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio data” which modifies the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus”, transferring certain functions of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to a new office established in the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. The office will deal with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination.
Extracts from the document are given below.
“The Holy See has always sought to adapt its structures of government to the pastoral requirements of the various historical periods that have succeeded one another in the life of the Church, modifying the organisation and functions of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia”.
“In the current circumstances it seemed fitting that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments should dedicate itself chiefly to giving fresh impetus to promoting sacred liturgy in the Church, in keeping with the renewal promoted by Vatican Council II through the
Constitution ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’.
“Therefore, I believe it is appropriate to transfer the function of dealing with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination to a new office to be created within the Tribunal of the Roman Rota”.
“Articles 67 and 68 of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’ are abolished”.
“Article 126 of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’ is modified to read as follows:
“1. The Tribunal of the Roman Rota is a court of higher instance at the Apostolic See, usually at the appellate stage, with the purpose of safeguarding rights within the Church; it fosters unity of jurisprudence, and, by virtue of its own decisions, provides assistance to lower tribunals.
“2. An office shall be established in this Tribunal with the task of examining the fact of non-consummation in a marriage and the existence of a just cause for granting a dispensation. It receives all the acts together with the ‘votum’ of the bishop and the remarks of the defender of the bond, weighs them according to its own special procedure, and, if the case warrants it, submits a petition to the Supreme Pontiff requesting the dispensation.
“3. The same office is also competent to examine cases concerning the nullity of sacred ordination, in accordance with universal and specific law, ‘congrua congruis referendo'”.
“The office dealing with the procedures for dispensation from
unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of sacred ordination shall be moderated by the dean of the Roman Rota, with the assistance of officials, commissioners and consultors”.
The new norms will come into effect as of 1 October.
MP/ VIS 20110929 (460)