When a Theologian Accuses His Archbishop of Schism,… by Phil Lawler

Liberal Villanova Prof Calls Three Faithful Bishops ‘Devout Schismatics’, by Lisa Bourne
July 20, 2019
Considering Invalid Research, Spin, and the Truth, by Tom Collingwood
July 20, 2019

By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, July 19, 2019

  • Massimo Faggioli teaches in the theology department at Villanova (when he is not trolling conservative Catholics on social media).

  • Villanova is—or claims to be—a Catholic university.

  • Those who teach in theology departments at Catholic universities are obliged to obtain the mandatum from the diocesan bishop.

  • The mandatum is fundamentally an acknowledgment by church authority that a Catholic professor of a theological discipline is teaching within the full communion of the Catholic Church.”

  • Villanova is in the Philadelphia archdiocese, which is led by Archbishop Charles Chaput.

  • In an article that appeared in La Croix this week, Faggioli suggested that Archbishop Chaput is schismatic.

Now isn’t this an interesting situation?

The mandatum signifies full communion with the universal Church. Schism is a breach of communion. So should a theology professor seek to obtain the mandatum from a prelate he considers schismatic? Should the prelate grant the mandatum to a theologian who accuses him of schism? If Faggioli requests and receives the mandatum from Archbishop Chaput, does he thereby—by his own logic—join the archbishop in schism?

(Of course all these questions are based on the presumption that theology professors at Villanova seek the mandatum, as required under the terms of Ex Corde Ecclesia. But that’s a separate issue.). ….