Dispute between Pontifical university and Peru archdiocese not over

.- The cardinal who carried out an apostolic visit of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru over its dispute with the Archdiocese of Lima said the case is not over and that one of the main problems facing Peruvian society is polarization within its institutions.

Cardinal Peter Erdo, who is in Rome for a meeting of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences, told CNA on Feb. 15 that his visit in Lima focused on “the identity and the ecclesial and Catholic nature” of the university.

“I was in Peru and I held an extensive series of dialogues with many people, including university administrators and bishops,” the cardinal said.

“I have seen that Peruvian society is profoundly polarized by many problems, which can be seen as well inside the institutions, inside the Christian communities,” he added.

“So it seems that this conversation has not ended yet and will still have to be further developed.”

The rector of the Pontifical University, Marcial Rubio, has been called to Rome next week for a Feb. 21 meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

In 2010, the Constitutional Court of Peru acknowledged the right of the Archdiocese of Lima to have a seat on the university’s board of directors, but university administrators did not follow the order.

On Sept. 23, 2011, the university assembly led by Rubio voted to refuse to comply with the Vatican directive to modify its statutes in accord with the Church’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae. The decision put the university’s status as a pontifical and Catholic institution in jeopardy.

Administration officials were also ordered to acknowledge the Archdiocese of Lima’s right to elect the university rector from among three candidates proposed by the university assembly.

On Sept. 21, the Archdiocese of Lima announced the Holy See would appoint an apostolic visitor to investigate the dispute. Cardinal Erdo arrived in Lima in December and met with university officials, the Archbishop of Lima and others involved in the case.

After the visitation concluded, some administrators said the Vatican’s directive was “non-binding” for the university.

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