Photo: Catholic University of Peru no Longer Catholic
After 22 years of conflict between the Vatican and university officials, the Catholic Church has ruled that the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru can no longer call themselves ‘Catholic’ or ‘Pontifical.’ The ruling, announced last week, comes after university officials failed to meet an April deadline demonstrating that the university’s statutes were more in line with the Catholic Church.
The University, founded in 1917 and granted canonical status in 1942, began disputing with the Church in the 1960s after several dissident faculty members became evident and the university changed the school’s bylaws without the Vatican’s approval. Problems continued to worsen when university officials refused Lima’s Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani a seat on the governing board. In 2011, after a visit to the university, school officials agreed to align their statutes to the church if the church was not allowed as governing members of the board. The Church, however refused this proposal.
Although the Vatican stated in their announcement that they plan to monitor the situation and hopes the university begins to reconsider their decisions, it is apparent that university officials will not be bullied. Marcial Rubio, the university’s chancellor stated after the announcement, “Pontifical University of Peru is our official name, under with we are recognized nationally and internationally.”
Yet, it is not clear if university officials will be able to win this ‘battle’ with the Church. The donor who originally provided the land for the university stated that if the school ever lost this status, the land would be turned over to the Archdiocese of Lima. It is unclear if the archdiocese will follow through with this stipulation.