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First Canon Law Department in Mexico inaugurated

.- This week at the parish of St. Augustine in Tlalpan, Mexico, the first ever Canon Law Department of the Pontifical University of Mexico was inaugurated. The event was attended by the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and the Archbishop of Mexico, Cardinal Norberto Rivera.

During the celebration of Mass, Cardinal Rivera said that with the establishing of the department “the one hundred year-old academic tradition of the Catholic Church in Mexico has been fully restored.”

The Cardinal prayed to God for “light to overcome difficulties and to be faithful to the commitment this new challenge represents.”

For his part, Cardinal Grocholewski centered his homily on the role the Eucharist plays in the heart of the Church, and especially, at the university.  “Our whole Christian life must be a preparation for participating fully in the Eucharist, our whole life must be oriented toward the Eucharist,” he said.

During the inauguration, the rector of the University, Father Roberto Jaramillo, said, “Today the three departments that were the foundation for the first college studies in this country have come together again

Courses in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of Mexico were first offered when the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico opened on January 25, 1553.  After various stages and reorganizations, Pope Pius XI promulgated new norms in 1931 for the Pontifical Universities which, together with political problems and the hostility of the government of Mexico toward the Church, led to the closing of the University.

With its reopening in 1982, the University offered Canon Law studies as a part of its theology program until 1995, when the Congregation for Catholic Education raised the University to an Autonomous Higher Institution of Canonical Right.  In October of 2004 the decree allowing the creation of the department was promulgated.

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