The Tribunal Office

One of the important responsibilities of the Catholic Church is the pastoral care of the family and the protection of the bond, which binds the family together. 

Central to the responsibility is proclaiming the sanctity and permanence of marriage. While carefully protecting the teaching of Jesus on marriage and its indissolubility, the Church also recognizes that many marriages today end in the tragedy of divorce. Yet, for many of these people their faith and their Church remain important to them. Nor does the Church abandon them.

In its pastoral concern, the Church provides an ecclesiastical tribunal whose function is to evaluate the validity of the failed marriage in the light of Scripture, Tradition, and Church law. In many cases, the Church is able to grant a Decree of Invalidity (annulment). This process helps heal the anger and disappointment with one’s self and with one’s former spouse. It often brings closure to the hurtful memories. It frees a Catholic to marry again or to have a second marriage convalidated by the Church, thus restoring the Catholic to the full sacramental life of the Church.

Remembering that the ministry of Jesus was one of healing and reconciliation, the Tribunal is ever mindful of its call to continue that ministry to all who seek its help.

The Diocese of Sacramento has an excellent Tribunal staff. It deals with people with the greatest of confidentiality, as well as with compassion and understanding. Through years of experience, they are competent to assist you. Please feel free to contact our staff.

Contact Us

Very Rev. Mark R. Richards, JCL
Judicial Vicar
Cheryl M. Tholcke
Moderator of the Tribunal Chancery
Rev. Brian Atienza, JCL
Adriana Rodriguez
The Tribunal

Defenders of the Bond
Mr. Luis O. Capacetti, JCL
Rev. Michael J. Estaris, JCL
Ms. Christina Hip-Flores, JCD

Rev. Brian Atienza, JCL
Karla Felix-Rivera, JCL
Rev. Joseph Nguyen, JCL
Rev. Peter O'Donnell, JCL
Rev. Santiago Raudes, JCL
Very Rev. Mark R. Richards, JCL (Presiding Judge)

Court Experts
Mrs. Maria Calderon-Romero, Psy.D.
Mrs. Elizabeth Sullivan, Ph.D.