Marriage Tribunal

The constant teaching of the Catholic Church is that marriage is an intimate, exclusive and permanent partnership of a man and a woman which exists for the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.

Marriage is brought into being by the voluntary and deliberate exchange of consent (marriage vows) of the parties. For the good of all concerned (spouses, children, families, society and the church) every marriage (whether of Catholics or non-Catholics) is presumed valid.

While the Catholic Church upholds the dignity, sacredness and permanence of marriage, it cannot ignore the reality of separation and divorce in our society. The Church must reach out to those who are struggling with the pain of a broken marriage.

One way the Church does this is through its Marriage Tribunal. At the request of one of the parties, the Marriage Tribuanl investigates failed marriages according to the canon law of the Church, to determine if a particular marriage may or may not be declared invalid (not binding) because some essential element of marriage was lacking at the time of the exchange of consent.

On September 8th, 2015, Pope Francis issued a motu proprio entitled Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge) introducing significant changes to the procedures for marriage nullity cases. These changes came into effect on December 8th, 2015. The changes pertain only to procedural law. There is no change in the church’s constant teaching on the nature of marriage. There are no changes to the grounds for marriage nullity.


Contact Information
Location: 3400 Merrittville Highway. Thorold, Ontario L2V 4Y6


Phone: 905 687-8817
Fax: 905 687-9429

Most Reverend Gerard Paul Bergie, D.D. , J.C.L.
Associate Judicial Vicar
Margaret Jong, J.C.L
Tribunal Director
905 687 8817
Pat Foreman
Colleen Walsh
Secretary / Notary
905 687-8817


To know more about marriage programs in the Diocese of Saint Catharines go