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Presidents' speech on Mandatum from Catholic Church

Good evening, my brothers and sisters in Christ at Holy Angel University.

On June 5, 1933, Holy Angel Academy opened its doors in the old convent of our Holy Rosary Parish Church. On December 6, 1961, during the presidency of our founder Don Juan D. Nepomuceno, Holy Angel Academy became Holy Angel College. On December 4, 1981, Holy Angel College was granted university status with Engineer Mamerto G. Nepomuceno as first University President, and His Excellency, Oscar V. Cruz, the then-Archbishop of San Fernando, declared Holy Angel University a Catholic university.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stated: "A university or school's Catholic identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is a question of conviction—do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22)? Are we ready to commit our entire self—intellect and will, mind and heart—to God? Do we accept the truth Christ reveals?"

Today, September 2, 2015, marks another milestone in the history of Holy Angel University. When our Christian Living Education faculty sought the mandatum and His Eminence Archbishop Florentino G. Lavarias granted it, Holy Angel joined the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in publicly declaring full commitment to and compliance with Ex Corde Ecclesiae [From the Heart of the Church], the apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education that St. Pope John Paul II promulgated in 1990. We hope that more Catholic colleges and universities in the Philippines would follow our lead and do the same. Ex Corde Ecclesiae also calls all Catholic members of the university community to a personal fidelity to the Church with all that this implies. Non-Catholic members are called to respect the Catholic character of the University, while the University in turn respects their religious liberty.

The mandatum is a recognition by the local ordinary of a Catholic theology professor’s pledge to teach in full communion with the Magisterium of the Church, in accordance with Canon 812. The mandatum does not infringe upon academic freedom. The so-called dichotomy between faith and freedom is an artificial one. The Catholic faith brings life to the Truth; it does not suppress it. Our faith liberates us because it is true. Our faith makes us more free, not less. As soon as we, professors, liberate ourselves from our faith, we simply become slaves to culture and this material world.

Today, we pledge our fidelity to the Church and express where we have always stood. We are not ashamed of our Catholic mission and identity. We see our university’s mission as our active participation in the evangelizing mission of the Church, in addition to serving the common good. We are "from the heart of the Church" and proud of it.

In closing, let me extend our university’s appreciation to the Institute for Christian Formation and Social Integration, notably the Campus Ministry and the Christian Living Education Department, for bringing us to this milestone in our history as a Catholic university. Let me also extend our appreciation to one of our distinguished alumni, His Excellency Archbishop Florentino Lavarias, for his continuing confidence in Holy Angel University’s mission and identity. Laus Deo Semper!

Date Posted: 09-06-2015