Roman Rota Examining 1,181 Cases

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2007 ( The Roman Rota, the Church's central appellate court, is studying 1,181 cases at the start of the judicial year.

Last year the tribunal examined 1,679 cases, and the previous year, 1,637.

Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz, dean of the Rota, disclosed the latest numbers during an audience with Benedict XVI on Saturday.

The prelate stated that, among these cases at the start of the judicial year, 687 are from Europe; 413 from the Americas; 64 from Asia; 12 from Africa; and five from Australia and New Zealand.

He added that "the cases of marital invalidity are the most common in the Rota." Last year the Rota made 262 decisions, including 69 that recognized the invalidity of a marriage.

The countries that presented most cases to the Rota were Italy (128 appealed from diocesan tribunals), the United States (38), Poland (19) and Lebanon (12).