Similar to the civil government, the Church has a system of courts to handle cases according to the Canon law of the Church because the Church has the right and duty to protect the dignity of the sacraments and to safeguard the rights of every member of the Church.
In each Diocese the Bishop is the chief Teacher and Shepherd for that portion of God’s people. At times it becomes necessary for the Bishop to decide whether the teaching and sanctifying mission of the Church is being carried out in accordance with the Gospel message, Sacred Traditions, and the magisterium of the Church. In this regard he acts as the Chief Judge concerning the practice of the Christian faith.
Since the Bishop cannot personally act as Judge in all these matters (because of the large number of cases), he delegates certain individuals as members of the Tribunal to act in his name. In the tribunal we have the Judicial Vicar, Judges, Defenders of the bond, Assessors, Advocates and Canonical Consultants.
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