Yoo hoo! Hell-Spawned Fooooorces!

A reader writes:

I wonder if I might marshal your Dark Imperious Majesty and its hell-spawned forces to resolve a question.

I’m an ex-seminarian applying for my master’s in theology at a couple of different schools in the New York area, and I ran into something strange but unverified. According to one post on a Catholic forum, Fordham’s theology school lacks something called a “Mandatum” from the Bishops to teach theology. I could not find substantiation, but if true, this would certainly affect my decision as to whether or not to apply there.

By all accounts, the other schools on my list, Seton Hall and St. John’s, are on the up and up. But Fordham — which is ideal for its location basically down the street from my apartment — has raised some questions and I’d like to know once and for all: is Fordham worth my time and money?

Beats me.  Anybody? Bueller?

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  • NYa

    I would contact Fr. Joe Koterski – one of the best, most orthodox, brilliant priests evarrr – and ask him your questions. He is philosophy dept., but has been at Fordham long enough to know the scoop.

  • I think a Mandatum is basically a promise to be faithful to the magisterium. JPII suggested all Catholic universities have their faculty do that. Very few do. Cdl Burke recently brought the topic up again.

  • Jack Swan

    I would suggest visiting the Cardinal Newman Society website (http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/), putting Fordham in the search field, and then bracing yourself for the tragedy that has become “the Jesuit tradition”.

  • Matt G

    The Mandatum is not a credential received by the Bishops, but an oath of fidelity to the teaching of the Magisterium taken by the school (and by extension those on staff who have responsibility to teach such matters). The info should be pretty easy to find if they have signed it.

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    If you really want a masters in Theology, and you’re going to spend a lot of money for it, why not just go to Catholic University of America. They have great program.

  • The USCCB has some old guidelines online. Of interest:

    Who is required to have the mandatum?
    All Catholics who teach Catholic theological disciplines in a Catholic university are required to have a mandatum (canon 812 and Application: Article 4, 4, e).

    In accord with canon 812, the mandatum is an obligation of the professor, not of the university.

    Also, Fr. Z ran an extensive excerpt of an article regarding Cdl. Burke’s comments on the subject:

    Catholic families have a right to know which theology professors have the mandatum, and Catholic colleges and universities should require it as a condition for employment affirmed the Vatican’s chief judge Cardinal Raymond Burke in a new report prompted by recent concerns from Pope Benedict XVI.

  • Consistency

    Dont go to the Cardinal Newman Society. They are consistently interested in dragging schools through the mud with half truths to solicit donations.