Mandatum, Academic

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According to Canon 812 of the 1983 Code of canon law, those who teach theological disciplines in Catholic institutions of higher learning must have a mandatum from the competent ecclesiastical authority. The Application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the United States, approved by the bishops of the United States in 1999 and granted recognitio by the Holy See in 2000, defines the mandatum as "fundamentally an acknowledgment by Church authority that a Catholic professor of a theological discipline is a teacher within the full communion of the Catholic Church." It "recognizes the professor's commitment and responsibility to teach authentic Catholic doctrine and to refrain from putting forth as Catholic teaching anything contrary to the Church's magisterium." Guidelines for granting the mandatum, approved by the bishops in 2001, define the theological disciplines as Sacred Scripture, dogmatic theology, moral the ology, Pastoral Theology, Canon Law, liturgy, and Church History. The competent ecclesiastical authority for granting the mandatum is the bishop of the diocese in which the Catholic university or college is located. The bishop may also grant it through a delegate.

[j. strynkowski]