Defender of the Bond

Job Summary:

The Defender of the Bond intervenes in canonical causes of the nullity of marriage and canonical processes for the dissolution of the bond of marriage according to the norms of canon law. In addition to carrying out the canonical office of Defender of the Bond, this person also assists with other canonical duties as assigned and serves as a general resource on canonical matters for diocesan and parish staff.

Ministerial Character

The Bishop is the visible principle and foundation of unity in the particular Church (the diocese) entrusted to him. In a unique and visible way, he makes Christ’s mission present and enduring as Shepherd of the Christian Community. In order to fulfill his mission, the Bishop employs suitable, chosen collaborators (clerics, religious, or lay people). He shares with them the apostolic mission and entrusts various responsibilities to them.

Each position employed in the Diocese of Austin helps to extend the ministry of the Bishop in particular ways as outlined in the job description. Therefore, the employee in this position is closely connected to and assists the Bishop in the performance of his ministry and thereby engages in ministry for the church.

Essential Job Duties:

As an integral part of your ministry for the Church as carried out in this position, support and uphold the philosophy of Catholic ministry and the mission of the Diocese of Austin in both your professional and personal life.
Act as a witness to Gospel values by modeling the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Continuously grow in your ministry by participating in religious ceremonies, training sessions, and reflection activities as directed.
Engage in ongoing canonical formation programs as assigned, and in personal study.
Carry out the office of Defender of the Bond by intervening in marriage cases: giving observations, proposing proofs, participating in the deposition of witnesses, and submitting briefs.
Serve as a general resource for diocesan and parish staff about canonical issues, especially in the area of sacramental and matrimonial law.
Participate as assigned in canonical work unrelated to marriage cases, such as the review and drafting of documents.
Serve as an instructor in Tribunal programs to train case counselors, advocates, and parish personnel for marriage preparation.
Serve as a presenter in Tribunal informational programs.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of the canon law of marriage
Knowledge of procedural canon law
Skill in analyzing evidence and arguments from a canonical perspective
Skill in articulating canonical arguments in written form
Skill in explaining canonical concepts in the context of teaching/formation programs

Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Trainings:

Licentiate in Canon Law or at least enrolled in a JCL program


No experience required, can be an entry level job for a canonist or canon law student


English required
Spanish preferred
Some knowledge of Latin preferred

Catholic Requirement:

Must be a practicing Roman Catholic in good standing.
Valid Texas driver’s license.
Must maintain compliance with the Diocese of Austin Ethics and Integrity in Ministry (EIM) policies throughout the employment period.
Working Conditions:

All employees of the Diocese of Austin are engaged in ministry and closely tied to the Bishop in the exercise of his ministry and obligations to the church.

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