When asked about the requirement for Catholic institutions of higher learning to promote their Catholic identity, even with non-Catholic faculty members, the cardinal replied that all professors have a "responsibility" in this sense to the Church, and before science and the world.
"In the Catholic university people who are not Catholic can also teach, but they are obligated to respect the Catholic identity."
Reflecting on the application of the Apostolic Constitution today, Cardinal Grocholewski said that it remains "current everywhere." He considers it to be an "stupendous" document that "gives spirit to the Catholic university."
To the cardinal, "the Catholic university that conserves its own identity, as was delineated in Ex Corde, truly has a future and will contribute to the good of society," while seeking to be an interlocutor between cultures and a force for progress.
Stressing the importance of Catholic schools retaining their roots, the cardinal said that "if the Catholic university loses its identity, it's similar to all the other universities, practically it becomes less significant and this is a big challenge, or a big problem."
He noted that his congregation has received protests from people who attended Catholic universities, who have said that the education being offered was not in line with Church teaching. They have said that if the institution does not offer a Catholic education while claiming to be Catholic, it is "hypocritical and lying."
"I think they are right," said the cardinal prefect," and the same goes for Catholic grade schools, he said.
"I think that only the Catholic university that conserves its identity will have a future."
“Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” he said, "does not demand a 'grand reform,' the document is current, it is a very realistic approach, and in itself it has a great dynamism to make the Catholic university important in today's world ... where, as we know there is a cultural and moral relativism that creates so much damage."
What is needed in the modern context of permissibility and relativity, he said, is "the Catholic university that defends the truth, the objective truth."
The Model Catholic University
(Story continues below)
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There is no specific model Catholic university in the world, noted Cardinal Grocholewski. Universities should not compare themselves to each other, he also advised, "rather they should turn to the document which is fundamental for the Catholic university, which is 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae'.”
"There," he said, "the ideal of the Catholic university is outlined, and I think that studying this document is much more productive" than looking to the "diverse realities" of other universities for direction.
Asked about Pope Benedict XVI's perspective on Catholic education today, the cardinal prefect said he is "a great enthusiast of the Catholic university. He practically rejoices when he sees that the Catholic university, (as) it progresses, preserves its identity ..."
The current Pope, he said, has encouraged him to continue "to fight for the Catholic university."