​​Curial Department

The Curial Department of the Toronto Regional Marriage Tribunal handles two groups of cases, namely those invalid marriages which are investigated through the documentary process as well as valid marriages which are dissolved by a special favour.

Types of invalid marriage cases handled by the documentary process:

  • Ligamen cases (existence of a previous marriage bond);

  • Presence of a non-dispensed diriment impediment (ex. a Catholic married a non-Christian without a dispensation from disparity of cult);

  • Eastern Christian lack of form cases (for Eastern Christians who did not marry according to their canonical form as required by canon law).

A marriage that is between two baptized persons and consummated (called ratum et consummatum) can be dissolved by no power except death. However, a marriage in which one or both of the parties was not baptized, or was not consummated, can be dissolved by a special grant of the Church.

Types of valid marriages which can request a rescript of dissolution:

  • Ratum non consummatum: a marriage between two baptized persons that was never consummated;

  • Privilege of the Faith (commonly called Petrine Privilege): at least one of the parties was not baptized either before or during the entire common life. This occurs when either the applying party wishes to become Catholic or at least wishes to marry a Catholic;

  • Pauline Privilege: both parties were never baptized, the applying party wishes to be baptized before being married in the Church, and the divorced spouse does not wish to become baptized nor is he/she willing to live in peace with the petitioner's faith.

For more information, as well as contributions for these types of cases, please see the Curial Department Brochure (PDF).