Internal Form


Please explain “Internal Form” procedure and requirements during anullment waiting time. Having questioned the Marriage Tribunal I am involved in about “Internal Forum” I was informed that it was a matter to be brought to my confessor. I would appreciate some clarification before I do so.
Thank you for considering my request,


bring the matter to your confessor, because confession IS the internal forum. you may have accidentally posted on the wrong forum, this one is for editing sections of the CA preparatory to its online presence.


If you go listen to the podcast of the CA Live show from 2/15/2008

CAL 080215 Bishop Salvatore Cordileone; Ask a Canon Lawyer

The Canon Lawyer explained the internal forum.


In order to resort to the Internal Forum and have it be valid, you must have EXHAUSTED the external forum and there must not be any chance of scandal in the parish. Also, you will have to switch parishes because you will not be able to remain in the parish that you are in. It’s important to realize that you will still not be considered married in the eyes of the Church.

This is something done in the internal forum… which means during confession… and you cannot ever speak of it with anyone. Ever. That’s considered a violation of the seal of the confessional and brings it into the external forum.

The fact that the Tribunal is slow moving is not a sufficient reason to resort to the internal forum solution. You have to continue to go through the external forum solution. Period.


I think that there has been a definitive statement from the Vatican that marriage validity cannot be resolved by recourse to the internal forum. Sorry, I don’t remember the details. You might try searching the Vatican Web Site.


Well, the idea is that a marriage issue cannot be resolved as per the external forum in the internal forum.

There tends to be a lot of confusion that if someone deals with things in the internal forum that it’s the same things as the external forum, and it’s just not.

I have only known internal forum cases to be used correctly in certain circumstances… For example, a woman who is 87 years old and her first attempted marriage was when she was 15 and none of the witnesses are living any longer, so there is absolutely no way to prove what happened. She exhausted the external forum completely by trying to get an annulment, but due to the complete lack of evidence, the Court could not get to moral certitude about the nullity of the marriage. This would be a perfect example of someone who has exhausted the external forum. There is truly NOTHING else that can be done.


Thank you for your helpful information. God Bless you.

Yours in the body of Christ.



Use of the Internal Forum is very rare. One must have exhausted all recourse through the external forum. So an anullment must have been filed, denied and the appeals denied. Then under spiritual direction it is possible for recourse to the internal forum.


I couldn’t finish what I wanted to say because I timed out. In some instances there will be no recourse to the external forum as an earlier poster above described.

closed #10

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