Thursday, September 20, 2012

UST is first Filipino Catholic university to implement the "Mandatum"

On September 19, 2012, the entire body of lay theology teachers in the University of Santo Tomas -- the Philippines' only Pontifical University -- received the Mandatum required by Canon 812 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law (read this particular Canon here) and by the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, which was promulgated by Pope John Paul II back in 1990. Both of these documents require that those who teach a theological discipline in any Catholic institute of higher education should obtain a mandate (mandatum) to teach from the competent ecclesiastical authority, usually the Ordinary or bishop of the diocese where the institute is located. 

In addition to the lay theology teachers, professors of ethics, professors of professional ethics, high school religion teachers, and six instructors in bioethics at the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery received the Mandatum. (H/t to Mr. Richard Pazcoguin, Asst. Director of UST Campus Ministry, for this information.)

To my knowledge this is the first time that a Catholic institute of higher education in the Philippines has specifically required its teachers of theological disciplines to obtain the Mandatum. The UST Varsitarian modestly comments that "this is probably the first time the mandatum will be enforced in the Philippines". In the United States, where the issue of the Mandatum and the overall concern for doctrinal purity in Catholic education has been more pronounced and impassioned among laymen, many small and middle-sized Catholic colleges and universities (informally called "Ex Corde Ecclesiae schools") have been publicly implementing the requirement of a Mandatum or an equivalent Oath of Fidelity for all of their teachers of theological disciplines since the 1990's. 

Rite for the Conferment of the Mandatum:

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