WASHINGTON (June 29, 2000) -- Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk has been named to head a committee of bishops to establish procedures for awarding theologians a mandatum to teach, as called for by Ex corde Ecclesiae (ECE).
The appointment was made by Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, who also named as committee members Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh, Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Illinois, and Bishop Edward Braxton, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis.
Bishop Fiorenza named the committee June 16, during the Spring 2000 meeting of the U.S. Bishops in Milwaukee.
The Committee will enlist the assistance of theologians, canonists and representatives of the Presidents of Catholic Colleges and Universities as consultants.
Ex corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church) is an apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education issued by Pope John Paul II on August 15, 1990. It deals with how the structure and life of Catholic colleges and universities should reflect their Catholic identity. An apostolic constitution is a document by which a pope enacts and promulgates law.
On June 6, Bishop Fiorenza announced that the Vatican had approved Ex corde Ecclesiae: An Application to the United States, a document of the U.S. bishops which takes the general principles and norms of ECE and applies them to the specific situation of Catholic colleges and universities in the United States. ECE calls for bishops' conferences to do this.
Msgr. John Strynkowski, Assistant Secretary for Catholic Higher Education and Campus Ministry of the USCC Department of Education, said the committee will work on procedures to assist Bishops in responding to requests from theologians for the mandatum in accord with Canon 812 and the Application.
Procedures will need to be drawn up for granting, refusing and withdrawing the mandatum as well as appeals from theologians in accord with Canon Law in the event of refusal or withdrawal.