Sharp increase in use of US canon-law tribunals
January 12, 2012
Church tribunals in the US have seen a sharp rise in the number of canonical suits brought by American Catholics.
Although exact figures are not available, because canonical courts keep their own secret records, canon lawyers agree that the American Catholics have brought many more complaints in recent years. Canonists once expected to work mostly on marriage cases. The sex-abuse scandal brought a raft of new work, centered on the detection and punishment of abuse. But now lay Catholics are apparently far more likely to challenge their pastors' decisions on school closings, parish changes, and other policies.
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