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Code of Canon Law
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Can. 1699 §1 The diocesan Bishop of the place of domicile or quasidomicile of the petitioner is competent to accept the petition seeking the dispensation. If the request is well founded, he must arrange for the instruction of the process.
Can. 1700 §1 Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1681, the Bishop is to assign the instruction of these processes, in a stable manner or case by case, to his own tribunal or to that of another diocese, or to a suitable priest.
Can. 1702 In the instruction of the process both parties are to be heard. As far as possible, and provided they can be reconciled with the nature of these processes, the canons concerning the collection of evidence in the ordinary contentious process and in cases of nullity of marriage are to be followed.
Can. 1703 §1 There is no publication of the acts, but if the judge sees that, because of the evidence tendered, a serious obstacle stands in the way of the plea of the petitioner or the exception of the respondent, he can prudently make it known to the party concerned.
Can. 1704 §1 When the instruction is completed, the judge instructor is to give all the acts, together with a suitable report, to the Bishop. The Bishop is to express his Opinion on the merits of the case in relation to the alleged fact of non-consummation, the adequacy of the reason for dispensation, and the opportuneness of the favour.
§2 If the instruction of the process has been entrusted to another tribunal in accordance with Can. 1700, the observations in favour of the bond of marriage are to be prepared in that same tribunal. The Opinion spoken of in §1 is, however, the province of the Bishop who gave the commission and the judge instructor is to give him, together with the acts, a suitable report on the case.
§3 If, however, the answer of the Apostolic See is that the non-consummation is not proven from the evidence produced, then the expert in law mentioned in Can. 1701 §2 can inspect the acts of the case, though not the Opinion of the Bishop, in the tribunal office, in order to decide whether anything further of importance can be brought forward to justify another submission of the petition.
Can. 1706 The rescript of dispensation is sent by the Apostolic See to the Bishop. He is to notify the parties of the rescript, and also as soon as possible direct the parish priests of the place where the marriage was contracted and of the place where baptism was received, to make a note of the granting of the dispensation in the registers of marriage and baptism.
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