Religious freedom in American catholic higher education

Charles J. Russo, Paul McGreal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Amid mounting threats to religious liberty in the United States, the Supreme Court's unanimous opinion in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, upholding the ministerial exception, stands out as something of a counterweight. In addition, Hosanna-Tabor raises potentially significant issues for Catholic colleges and universities in particular as they seek to maintain their missions and identities in asserting the ministerial exception. Thus, this article explores the interplay between the ministerial exception, Hosanna-Tabor, and Ex Corde Ecclesiae, a papal pronouncement that requires Roman Catholic theologians at Catholic institutions of higher learning to receive a mandatum from their local bishops, essentially a license that their scholarship and teaching are consistent with Church doctrine before they can assume their jobs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-132
Number of pages17
JournalReligion and Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Religious studies

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