TSC 528 Tribunal Cultural Flexibility

Faculty: Rev. Jude Onogbosele, J.C.D. (Profile)


Seldom studied, the Tribunal system over the last century has been highly adaptable to evolving cultural needs. Before 1900, 97% of Americans lived in rural areas, while today only some 3% do. Up to 1963, the pastor did marriage counseling or sent couples to Catholic Charities even prior to the intervention of the Separation Court. Annulment cases began to increase after the Second Vatican Council in 1965. In 1981, the Chicago Tribunal began to incorporate Serrano’s ideas on interpersonal communication into an outline of marital history, which plays a very important part in psychological assessment in annulment cases. Psychological Experts began to work inside Tribunal offices. Advocate help was provided in 50 parishes. In 1991, Administrative Tribunals helped for Conciliation and Arbitration. After AD 2000, Tribunals gradually expanded judging of delinquent pastors, clerical pedophiles, and even laity. The ultimate goal of this tutorial is to familiarize the canonist with the successful adaptation of the Tribunal ministry to evolving cultural needs over the last century.

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