Lessons From the Tribunal

Lessons from the tribunal
February 22, 2024

At this year's Dating and Marriage Conference, Anastacio Hinojosa, the former Director of the tribunal for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, shared his experiences overseeing annulments with a heartfelt intention – to spare others from the painful predicaments faced by couples seeking an annulment at the tribunal.


What Catholics Should Know Before Getting Married

This enlightening talk was part of a bigger effort to help lower the divorce rate among Catholics and refamiliarize the faithful with the sanctity of marriage. With a wealth of experience as the Tribunal Director, Anastacio recited key concepts from Canon Law which define marriage, ensuring that attendees gained a comprehensive understanding of the sacred and legal obligations that accompany the marital covenant.


"Canon 1055 tells us that marriage is not just a contract. It's not a give and take," Anastacio says, recalling a concept from an earlier talk at the conference, "but rather it is a covenant, a give and recieve. When we talk about the sacrament of matrimony... at our baptisim where we die to our old self and rise as new beings we are able to self empty, just as Christ loved the Church to the point of death. That is the definition of matrimony."


Tales of Caution

Anastacio shared cautionary tales, recounting real-world situations that led couples to the tribunal. His anecdotes underscored the need for couples to approach their relationships with intentionality. "I cannot tell you how many times I've heard 'we were just young and dumb' at the tribunal" explained Anastacio, suggesting that many couples do not take their vows seriously, or perhaps are not even aware of what marriage vows require of them. These examples offered audience members foresight to recognize potential pitfalls and make informed decisions that would contribute to the longevity and sanctity of their marriages.


With his presentation at the Dating and Marriag Conference, Anastacio hopes that couples can cultivate a marriage founded on informed decisions, genuine commitment, and a profound appreciation for the sanctity of marriage. 

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