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The Provincial Council of New Orleans in 1856 calls this subsidy the "right of cathedraticum, either to sustain the bishop or to provide for various necessities of the diocese ".It states that each bishop of the province should determine the amount in a diocesan synod.As to the determination of the quantity of the cathedraticum, we find the First Provincial Council of Cincinnati requesting Propaganda to sanction some uniform method, but the latter preferred to commit this to the diocesan synods.In the acts of the First Provincial Council of Quebec in 1851, we fine the following scheme "proposed" to Propaganda.
For although as a rule it is customary to do so in the synod, yet custom or agreement can place it at another time. Congregation of the Council has declared that the cathedraticum must be paid, even in those years in which no diocesan synod is celebrated (In Perus., Cathedr., 1735). He can require it, however, from the diocesan seminary if benefices have been incorporated with it.As a consequesce, different methods of computing the cathedraticum prevail throughout the United States.In one prominent diocese, for example, the rector of each church must pay one-fifth of his revenue if it exceed one thousand dollars, or one-third if it be less.It is also to be noted that, according to the common law, the cathedraticum is to be uniform for all institutions in a diocese, without regard to the opulence or poverty of the benefices.Owing to the phraseology of the Council of Trent (Sess. ii), a controversy arose as to whether this council had abrogated the cathedraticum. Congregation of the Council gave the following interpretation: "The Council did not abolish the cathedraticum; but desired that it be paid, not at the time of the episcopal visitation, but rather at the diocesan synod." It is owing to the custom of paying this tax at the synod that the name synodaticum has been given to it.