Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru loses its pontifical and catholic status

From The Vatican Today:
The Holy See, by a decree of the Secretary of State, has decided to remove the right of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru to use the words “Pontifical” and “Catholic” in its title.

The University, founded in 1917 and canonically erected by a decree of the Holy See in 1942, has amended its statutes several times since 1967 in a way which has severely injured the interests of the Church.

Since 1990, the University has repeatedly been urged by the Holy See to conform its statutes to the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae. It has not lived up to that legal duty. Following a canonical visitation in December 2011, and a meeting by the Secretary of State with the Rector in February 2012, another attempt was begun at dialogue in adapting the Statutes in accordance with Church law.

Recently, the Rector sent two letters to the Secretary of State, in which he expressed his inability to implement the requirements, conditioning the change of the statutes to the renunciation of the right of the archdiocese to participate in the administration of the University.

The participation of the Archdiocese of Lima in the administration of the University has been repeatedly confirmed by the judgments of civil courts in Peru.

Given the attitude of the University, together with other facts, the Holy See was obliged to adopt this measure, while reaffirming the duty of the University to submit to canonical legislation. The Holy See will continue to monitor the situation of the University, hoping that in the near future, the competent academic authorities will reconsider their position, in order to reverse this measure. The renewal requested by the Holy See will make the University more capable of responding to the task of bringing the message of Christ to man, society and culture, according to the mission of the Church in the world.

I wonder if other "Catholic" universities are in the firing line? It might be that the Holy See only intervenes the case of Pontifical universities. But this is still a timely implementation of Canon Law when there are other Catholic universities failing to uphold the Church's Magisterium.


  1. And Catholic schools! Be great if many so called Catholic Universities and Schools were loyal to the Magesterium and truly merit their name Catholic.

  2. Father, I often wonder about the competent authority in these matters. Take Georgetown in Washington, DC. The Jesuit provincial administration is the direct authority, I think. Does that mean that the DC archbishop can't (even threaten to) revoke the "Catholic" status of the school? I think so since it is a Jesuit school and the Jesuits are the competent authority (cf. c. 808). It is interesting that the Code includes canon 806.1 (about the Bishop's vigilance over all Catholic schools, even those founded by religious) but there is no corresponding canon in the section on universities. The Pope, of course, can do as he pleases and he could come in and take any school's Catholic title. But, I'm sure he'd have no desire to do so.


    1. To my knowledge the competent ecclesiastical authority is the diocesan Bishop. Nihil sine episcopo. The bishop cannot interfere in the internal life of a religious institute but in all that pertains to "the care of souls, the public exercise of divine worship, and other works of the apostolate" religious are "subject to the power of bishops whom they are bound to follow with devoted submission and reverence." (Can. 678,1) The Canons also urge mutual consultation.

    2. That's a good point, Father.


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