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According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “The mandatum is fundamentally an acknowledgement by church authority that a Catholic professor of a theological discipline is teaching within the full communion of the Catholic Church.” Although many Catholic education leaders and professors have protested the mandatum as a violation of institutional autonomy and academic freedom, in fact it is no more burdensome than any other disciplinary credential and rightly acknowledges that Catholic theology presupposes fidelity to Catholic teaching.

According to Canon Law, every Catholic theology professor must receive the mandatum from the local bishop. A faithful Catholic college serves the needs of its students by requiring the mandatum as a condition of employment for theology professors and openly disclosing which theology professors have the mandatum.

See also: Academic Freedom