Judicial Department and Diocesan Tribunal

The Tribunal is the judicial branch of the Diocese of Brownsville. In general, the Tribunal assists the bishop, clergy and laity with Canonical (legal) advice and is responsible for hearing and deciding legal matters according to Code of Canon Law, the law of the Church.

In particular, the judicial department processes all petitions presented to it and within the frame of its competence, on behalf of the bishop, concerning questions or investigations about rights and obligations that have been violated, need to be determined or are to be defined among the members of the Church. For example, Restoration of Personal Rights, Laicization, Sacramental Validity or Legality, Clerical Misconduct, Removal of Pastors, etc.

The majority the department's work is resolving questions of marital invalidity, especially Matrimonial cases that are processed in the Ecclesiastical Court of First Instance. These cases are presented to our Ecclesiastical Court to be investigated and defined by Decree, in accordance with Church law, concerning their sacramental validity or invalidity. The Diocesan Tribunal is an official Ecclesiastical Court for marriage cases presented in First Instance. The Court of Appeals in San Antonio is the Court of Second Instance for all of the dioceses of Texas , including the Diocese of Brownsville.

For information and questions concerning Matrimonial procedures, including how to start a marriage invalidity, "nullity" case, please make an appointment with your pastor.

Please also see the Canonical Process Guidelines and Checklist for Invalidity of Marriage for more information.


Other Services
Working, in communion, with other Ecclesiastical Tribunals around the world, especially granting competence to process some particular cases for some of our people, and helping our people present their petitions or requests to other Ecclesiastical Tribunals, walking them through Tribunal processes.
Processing petitions for Matrimonial Permissions or Dispensations for our people.
Processing petitions for Clerical Dispensations concerning their status in the Church.
Training or capacitating others to better serve at the diocesan or parochial level.
Instructing our people and others about our diocesan and parochial services and how to utilize them.

Judicial Department

Rev. Oliver Ángel, JCL, Judicial Vicar

Rev. Rene Ángel, JCL, Adjutant Judicial Vicar

Tribunal and Diocesan Assistance

Rev. Oliver Ángel, JCL, Presiding Judge

Rev. Rene Ángel, JCL, Judge

Rev. Thomas Kulleck, Judge

Rev. Msgr. Luis Javier Garcia, JCL

Diocesan Tribunal Staff

Ms. Annita M. Gonzalez, Ecclesiastical Notary/Adv. Facilitator

Mrs. Noemi Gomez, Secretary


Judicial and Diocesan Tribunal Office
Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd
San Juan, TX 78589

Phone:(956) 784-5070
Director: Rev. Oliver Angel, JCL