Pontifical university claims conformity with Vatican directive

The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru announced on its website that it has taken steps to comply with a Vatican directive to reform its statutes to the teachings of the Church.

Although Church officials have neither confirmed nor denied that an agreement has been reached, Cardinal Juan Luis Cirpriani of Lima said on March 31 that good will exists “on both sides” and that he is praying that the situation will be resolved “for the good of the university and the Church.”

The university issued a statement on April 3 saying that the supposed agreement would end litigation between the university and the Archdiocese of Lima involving the wishes of Jose de la Riva Aguero, a Catholic patron who donated the land where the university was built.

Aguero had stipulated in his will that the land would belong to the university as long as a representative of the Church was allowed a seat on its board of directors.

As one of several moves that has caused concern among Vatican officials, the university had defied a ruling by the Peruvian civil courts to give the Archdiocese of Lima a seat on its board of directors.

An investigation of the university was carried out Dec. 5 -11, 2011 by Cardinal Peter Erdo of Budapest, who found the Lima-based institution to be at odds with the Catholic Church in several significant areas of policy.

University officials have been refusing to comply with the Church’s guidelines for Catholic universities, which were laid out the papal document “Ex Corde Ecclesiae.” The apostolic constitution was promulgated in 1990 by Pope John Paul II to clarify what is expected of an authentically Catholic university.

The Vatican has given the school until Easter 2012 to comply with the Church’s requirements for Catholic colleges, marking the first time the Holy See has set a deadline for a university to reform.

The school's officials said in their April 3 statement that the agreement was presented to various university departments and that a meeting would be held to discuss it on April 13.

Although they asked the Vatican on March 29 for more time, the statement does not indicate whether or not the officials' request for an extension of the April 8 deadline had been accepted or not.

If the Vatican's deadline remains in place and the university has been found to have not brought its statutes into line with Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the institution will be stripped of its “Catholic” and “Pontifical” titles as of  midnight on April 9.

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