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.

Rev. Oliver Angel, JCL
Judicial Vicar
P. (956) 784-5070

Rev. Jose Rene Angel, JCL
Collegiate Judge
P. (956) 784-5070

Ms. Annita M. Gonzalez
Ecclesiastical Notary/Adv. Facilitator
P. (956) 784-5070

Mrs. Noemi Gomez
P. (956) 784-5070

Rev. Luis Fernando Sanchez, JCL
Adjutant Judicial Vicar
P. (956) 784-5070

Office Location
San Juan Pastoral Center/ Fitzpatrick Bldg.
700 N. Virgen de San Juan
San Juan Texas, 78589

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 the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is the Court of Second Instance for 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,  Checklist for Invalidity of Marriage and other documents in the Documents section 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 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.

Tribunal and Diocesan Assistance

  • Very Rev. Oliver Ángel, JCL, Judicial Vicar
  • Rev. Luis Fernando Sanchez, JCL, Adjutant Judicial Vicar
  • Rev. Rene Ángel, JCL, Collegiate Judge
  • Rev. Thomas Kulleck, Collegiate Judge
  • Rev. Msgr. Luis Javier Garcia, JCL, Defender of the Bond
  • Rev. Msgr. Gustavo Barrera, Defender of the Bond

"The administration of justice in the Christian community is a precious service, because it constitutes the indispensable premise for authentic charity"

—Saint John Paul II, 2002 Rotal Address