Thursday, March 17, 2005

Mandatum for Catholic Theology Professors

Catholic canon law states, Can. 812 "Those who teach theological disciplines in any institutes of higher studies whatsoever must have a mandate from the competent ecclesiastical authority."

"The mandatum is fundamentally an acknowledgment by church authority that a Catholic professor of a theological discipline is teaching within the full communion of the Catholic Church ... All Catholics who teach Catholic theological disciplines in a Catholic university are required to have a mandatum." [1]

Some Catholic universities and colleges, including my alma mater, Gonzaga University, are rather secretive as to whether their theology professors are in compliance with Catholic canon law. Many have expressed concern over this, some even withdrawing donation dollars until the situation is reconciled.

The following article gives a partial list of U.S. Catholic Universities who publicly require all Catholic theology professors to have the mandatum or similar oath of fidelity to Catholic doctrine.

Mandatum Schools, National Catholic Register,

[Note: link above expired, see here: ]

It's reasonable to conclude that among those colleges who are less forthright with their mandatum status, not all their theology professors are in compliance with canon law. Consequently, just because the college claims to be Catholic, their professors of theology may have no intention of teaching within the full communion of the Catholic Church.

For the situation at Gonzaga University, see the following article...

Teaching with the Church? Gonzaga Won't Say by Tim Drake [link expired]

See here: Mandatum Cover-Up? by Tim Drake

God bless,


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