The Office of the Tribunal oversees the integrity of the Church’s mission and sacramental life and protects the rights of all members of the Church. This is accomplished under the Church’s law known as the Code of Canon Law which governs the administration of the Church and its juridical procedures.
Acting in the name of the bishop, the judicial vicar oversees the tribunal and is assisted by a qualified staff who have received training in Canon Law. Staff members are available to offer advice and insight on matters regarding Canon Law and they comprise the Church’s courts that render judgments at the request of people seeking justice. Judicial trials are undertaken in the Church’s courts to pursue or vindicate rights, to declare legal facts, or to impose penalties.
At the present time, most of the work of the diocesan Tribunal involves cases presented for the determination of the invalidity of a marriage. While the nature of the ministry in the Tribunal is juridical, its purpose is eminently pastoral. The Tribunal participates in the mission of the local Church in proclaiming the Good News of Christ and in the pastoral mission of the salvation of God’s people.
Fr. Joseph Abraham, J.C.L.
The Office of the Chancellor
The chancellor fulfills the canonical duties of this position by ensuring the documents of the curia are gathered, arranged and safeguarded in the archives, and by recording the ecclesiastical acts, decrees, and dispensations issued by the bishop (can. 482). The chancellor is the chief notary, chief secretary and chief archivist of the diocesan curia.
The duties of the chancellor also extend to assisting the bishop and the diocese in administrative matters. The chancellor helps disseminate information to clergy, parishes, and the Catholic faithful that may be beneficial to the people of the Diocese of Reno. Finally, in the name of the bishop, the chancellor issues letter of suitability and permissions for clergy and lay guests to minister and present in the diocese.
Permission for Guest Speakers and Presenters
In order for the diocesan bishop to protect the integrity and unity of the faith (can. 386 §2), written approval from bishop through the Office of the Chancellor is required before speakers, presenters, or performers can be brought into the diocese by parishes, missions, schools, or other Catholic organizations. This applies to clergy, religious, and lay guests. The Diocese of Reno is responsible for ensuring, to the best of its ability, that anyone brought in as a speaker, presenter, or performer for events held within the Diocese is both faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing with the safe environment policies of their home diocese. This requires advanced communication (generally at least 30 days before the event) with the Office of the Chancellor as part of the event preparation. Events should not be promoted until approval is written received.
Please note that in the State of Nevada to perform marriages, all clergy from outside the state must obtain a one-time wedding license from the county in which the wedding is to be performed. Letters of suitability must be provided beforehand to the Chancellor’s office. If there are any questions or assistance is needed, please call the Chancellor’s Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Karen Smeath, 775-326-9410.
Priests or deacons from outside of the Diocese of Reno who will be engaging in public active ministry in any parish, institution, or other part of the diocese are required to obtain prior permission of the Bishop of Reno to undertake their ministry within the territory of the diocese. Permission will only be granted if satisfactory written confirmation is given to the chancery from the visiting priest’s or deacon’s own bishop or superior that he is a cleric in good standing and that there are no concerns, allegations or criminal convictions relating to any sexual misconduct with children or adults at risk. By particular law, this is required even if the priest or deacon is known to the rector/pastor of the church he will be visiting in the Diocese of Reno (can. 903).
The same permission is required of consecrated men and women religious, in which case the testimonial of suitability is to be provided from their religious superior or the bishop of the diocese in which they are currently engaged in ministry.
All letters of suitability are to be sent to:
Rev. Robert Chorey
290 S. Arlington Avenue
Reno, Nv. 89501.
Letters may also be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.