Ecclesiastical Faculties


Towards the end of the 17th century, when new buildings had been constructed and able men with Doctorate in Canon Law had come to join the professorial staff, the University obtained the Brief Inscrutabili from Innocent XI, dated August 7, 1681 whereby this Faculty and those of Civil Law and Medicine were erected. On January 17, 1682, the Faculty to teach the canons was granted to the Dominicans by the Master of the Order. King Charles II of Spain also recommended on November 22, 1682, the erection of the Faculty. However, because of the political unrest then reigning in the islands, the plan was not carried out, even if Archbishop Pardo, then Rector of the University, had already granted in 1689 the necessary financial aid for its maintenance. Early in the 18th century, in 1702 and again in 1715, the government maintained the establishment of a legal course, but which was however, suppressed in 1726.


Finally, on the 11th of November 1732 the School of Sacred Canons, with an enrollment of 41 students, was solemnly inaugurated. The school was subsequently confirmed both by the King of Spain on October 23, 1733, and by Pope Clement XI with his Brief Dudum emanarunt of September 2, 1734.


The Ecclesiastical Faculty of Canon Law, together with the Ecclesiastical Faculties of Sacred Theology and Philosophy, is classified under the name “Ecclesiastical Faculties.” It is an integral part of the University of Santo Tomas.

The Faculty of Canon Law aims:

  1. to deepen the knowledge of Christian revelation and of matters connected with it: to enunciate systematically the truth contained therein; to consider in the light of revelation, the problems of the times, presenting them in a manner adapted to the local culture,
  2. to cultivate and promote ‘the juridical disciplines in the light of the law of the Gospel and to deeply instruct students of these in order to form researchers, teachers and others who will be trained to hold special ecclesiastical posts’ (Veritatis Gaudium, Art. 77),
  3. to prepare with special care students for the priestly ministry, for teaching the juridical sciences, and for the other tasks of the apostolate like the professional practice in diocesan and religious curia whose responsibility includes the search for ways to harmonize the differences between the laws of the Church and those of the State,
  4. to collaborate effectively in the work of evangelization, in close communion with the hierarchy of the universal as well as of the local Church, in its pastoral, doctrinal, ecumenical and missionary undertakings, and
  5. to share in the University’s responsibility to be an educative community permeated with the spirit of freedom and charity (cf. Gravissimum Educationis, 8).

The Faculty of Canon Law is governed by the following laws: 

  1. the common law of the Church,
  2. the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium and its Norms of Application, including the other norms laid down by the Apostolic See,
  3. the General Statutes of the University of Santo Tomas in so far as they are not inconsistent with the particular statutes of the Ecclesiastical Faculties, and 
  4. the General Statutes of the Ecclesiastical Faculties approved by the Congregation for Catholic Education


In addition, the Faculty is governed by the following regulations:

  1. the norms issued by the Rector in accordance with the statutes of the three ecclesiastical faculties,
  2. the rules issued by the Dean with the Faculty Council in accordance with the statutes;
  3. the legitimate customs related to the Faculty in so far as they are in conformity with the laws of the Church and have been recognized by the authorities of the Faculty.

The Faculty is under the patronage of Saint Raymund of Peñafort, a Dominican priest who was also a civil and canon lawyer and once served as Master of the Order. He is the patron of canon lawyers and his feastday is observed every January 7.


Important Links

Congregation for Catholic Education:
University of Santo Tomas:
UST Miguel de Benavides Library:
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Ecclesiastical Faculties

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