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​​​​​​​​The departments and offices that are included in the Archdiocesan Catholic Center​ are identified on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles website. Listed and discussed below are the selected offices that the archbishop has designated as responsible for particular matters related to clergy, women religious, or the faithful, and which are overseen by vicars designated under canon law or by the vicar for women religious.

Office of Ethnic Ministry and Office of Life, Justice and Peace

The Office of Ethnic Ministry ministers to the more than 40 different ethnic groups represented in the archdiocese. It provides opportunities for all the faithful to exchange ideas and appreciate the cultural diversities and contributions that these groups provide in the archdiocese, thereby underscoring both the common beliefs that unite all faithful and the diversity that enriches the Christian tradition. The office plans programs that are directed to its mission and provide intercultural opportunities.

The Office of Life, Justice and Peace is organized to provide opportunities to deepen the awareness of the role of social justice in Christian tradition, and to unite all the faithful of every culture in an understanding that life extends from conception through natural death and is enriched by an active commitment to social justice for all people, regardless of their faith, personal situation, or cultural heritage.

Office of the Vicar for Clergy

The Office of the Vicar for Clergy has overall responsibility for pastoral and administrative matters related to clergy (both priests and deacons) in the archdiocese. Its role is to promote the spiritual and physical well-being and facilitate the ministerial life of all priests and deacons present in the archdiocese, particularly those who are incardinated in the archdiocese, whether active, inactive, sick, on leave, or in transition. The vicar for clergy and associate vicar for clergy are designated for specified terms by the archbishop after a specified nomination and vetting process in which the presbyterates of the archdiocese participate.

The office works to assure suitable ministerial assignments for all clergy serving in the archdiocese, particularly through coordinating the work of the ​Priest Personnel B​oard​ of the archdiocese and by assisting the archbishop in assuring that the diverse spiritual, ethnic, and ministerial needs of the faithful in the archdiocese are integrated and respected as ministerial assignments and decisions are made.

In the last 50 years, the archdiocese has grown to over 5 million faithful. The growth in population and diversity continues. This growth, as well as the diversity of cultures, languages, and ministerial needs present in the archdiocese, means that priests from other dioceses and cultures, both foreign and domestic, and members of religious orders make an important contribution in filling the ministerial needs of the archdiocese. The Office of the Vicar for Clergy screens and coordinates requests and applications from those who wish to minister in the archdiocese, whether for a short period or several years.

The Office of the Vicar for Clergy also provides for the continuing formation of priests and deacons and intervenes and addresses with other designated parties those situations where a priest or deacon has become ill or incapacitated or has failed to fulfill his ministerial duties or priestly and canonical obligations, including situations involving personal, sexual, financial, or other miscond​​uct.

Offices of the Judicial Vicar

In the archdiocese the role of the judicial vicar is divided and discharged through the Office of the Vicar for Canonical Services and the Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal, each headed by a designated priest vicar.

Office of the Vicar for Canonical Services

The vicar for canonical services has the primary duty to administer justice to the people of God in the local Church.

In marriage matters, the focus of the Office of the Vicar for Canonical Services​ is to provide canonical advice, research, and permissions involved in marriage preparation and any needed dispensations or other needed procedures before a marriage may occur. The dispensations and other canonical procedures are initiated through the local pastor/administrator or his designee. The local pastors and other parish ministers determine, as best they can, the character of the request and the manner in which the application should be pursued and submitted to the vicar for canonical services.

The Office of the Vicar for Canonical Services also assists the archbishop on matters of canonical analysis or review; provides advice on application of canon law in the administration of the archdiocese, the parishes, and the other patrimony of the archdiocese; and advises on matters related to religious life or institutions that are located within the archdiocese. The Office of the Vicar for Canonical Services should be consulted by clergy and others who are discerning about formalizing established groups into juridic persons or other canonical entities. The Office of the Vicar for Canoni​​​​​​​cal Services provides advice to the archbishop concerning the status of hospitals, colleges, and other Catholic institutions present in the archdiocese. It also advises the archbishop and his designees on matters related to clergy who may be seeking laicization or other changes in status and on the implementation of safe environment protocols for clergy under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops​ (USCCB).

Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal

The Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal is an extension of the archbishop's judicial ministry to the people of the archdiocese. This office is staffed by priests, deacons, and religious and lay persons trained in canon law, and they are appointed by the archbishop as judges or defenders of the bond.

The ministry of the tribunal is one part of the Church's effort to offer healing and hope to the parties of failed marriages. For some time, the office has trained pastors/administrators and their designees in parishes to assist petitioners in understanding the process and documentation. Individuals who have divorced civilly are required to first consult with that designated person at the parish concerning the process of petitioning and an understanding of the nullity process in the archdiocese.

The tribunal then uses the underlying petition and testimonies and other information requested or provided to it to investigate these situations to determine whether the parties in certain circumstances may be free to remarry. The tribunal's first and primary goal is to minister and to protect the rights of both parties during the process.

Faithful to Catholic tradition, the tribunal maintains the innate dignity of marriage and the Gospel's prohibition against arbitrary and unwarranted divorce. At the same time, the tribunal reflects the Church's appreciation of an imperfect society where divorce is a common reality. In accord with canon law, all previously married individuals, whether or not they are Catholic, have the right to seek clarification of the canonical status of their previous marriage(s).

A declaration of nullity may be granted only if it can be shown through a formal inquiry that at the time of consent, at least one of the parties lacked the intention or capability required to establish a binding commitment as understood by the Church. If nullity is declared, both parties would be free to enter into another marriage in the Church, if they choose to do so.

This declaration does not deny that a real relationship existed, nor does it imply that the relationship was entered with ill will or moral fault. It does not seek to place blame or establish a guilty party. A declaration of nullity does not affect the legitimacy of any children of the marriage. In the United States, a declaration of nullity has no consequences in civil law.

Office of the Vicar for Women Religious

The vicar for women religious is the liaison between the archbishop and the women religious and consecrated women and officially represents the women religious and consecrated women of the archdiocese. The Office of the Vicar for Women Religious serves all women religious and consecrated women working and living in the archdiocese in all matters directly related to the local church, including ministry, housing, and other issues.

There are approximately 100 different orders of women religious and consecrated women represented in the archdiocese. They make important service and leadership contributions to the educational, ministerial, sacramental, evangelization, social service, and health efforts for the faithful of all ages and nationalities represented in the archdiocese.

Each order must be recognized by the archbishop and invited to be present and remain in the archdiocese. Some orders have been present for generations, while others (both newly formed and long established) regularly seek permission to minister in the archdiocese. The office is responsible for communicating with the communities that wish permission to come to the archdiocese to minister and the office responds to their application on behalf of the archbishop. If the communities are granted permission, which is discretionary, the office assists in their arrival.

The office:

  • Provides resources for women religious and consecrated women of the archdiocese

  • Coordinates opportunities for deepening the bonds among the women and for spiritual enrichment

  • Promotes the diverse ministries of the religious institutes within the local Church

  • Disseminates information from various resources to consecrated women and, when appropriate, to clergy of the archdiocese

  • Collaborates with archdiocesan agencies, offices, and organizations in matters affecting women religious and consecrated women

  • Provides guidance for communities or individuals seeking to serve in the archdiocese

  • Serves as a resource for women discerning a vocation to consecrated life

Communities present in the archdiocese generally wish or are required to be listed in The Official Catholic Directory of the USCCB, and if qualified, they may seek approval as a tax-exempt and charitable entity in the United States either directly under the U.S.​​ Internal Revenue Code or as a participant in the USCCB Group Ruling​. Both require detailed submissions and approvals. The Office of the Vicar for Women Religious​ should be consulted for information and references concerning this process (see the Procedures for Religious Congregations Newly Entering the Archdiocese of Los Angeles).

Office of the Vicar for Ministerial Formation

The Office of the Vicar for Ministerial Formation is responsible for coordinating all ministerial formation efforts in the archdiocese, including those at St. John's Seminary and the activities of the ​Diaconate Formation Office, the Office of Parish Life, and the Office for Vocations. The vicar advises the archbishop and convenes the responsible people from those offices who meet regularly to discuss areas of mutual concern, to collaborate and support their various ministries as they serve the people of the archdiocese, and to consult on matters referred to the vicar for ministerial formation or the group by the archbishop.