Pope Francis’ Recent reform of marriage procedural law, implemented with the Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus, streamlined the canonical declaration of nullity, particularly emphasizing the importance of the “preliminary inquiry” in preparation of the judicial stage (v. Art. 3, Procedural Norms, Mitis Iudex).
In this pre-trial stage, a role of central importance is assumed by the Pastoral Advocates (also called Tribunal Counselor), who are volunteers or staff members, operating at the Parish/Deanery level or within the Tribunals, with the task of preparing the libellus and marital narratives, identifying possible grounds of marriage nullity, and compiling proofs in the interest of the part they represent (either the Petitioner or the Respondent). This five days Training Course is precisely oriented to provide Pastoral Advocates or potential ones with the theoretical and practical knowledge which will enable them to minister in this critical initial stage of the Process of Declaration of nullity. The Tribunals can benefit from the presence of suitably trained Pastoral Advocates who will facilitate the work of the Judges in discerning the truth about the specific marriage case.