Vatican: Peruvian university can no longer call itself “Catholic”

The university defied Lima’s archbishop, hired pro-abortion faculty, and “severely injured the interests of the Church.”

Today the Vatican announced that it is removing the designations “Catholic” and “Pontifical” from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru because of the institution’s persistent refusal to bring its statutes into conformity with Ex Corde Ecclesiae. According to the Vatican’s statement, the university repeatedly revised its statutes “in a way which has severely injured the interests of the Church”:

Since 1990, the University has repeatedly been urged by the Holy See to conform its statutes to the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae. It has not lived up to that legal duty. Following a canonical visitation in December 2011, and a meeting by the Secretary of State with the Rector in February 2012, another attempt was begun at dialogue in adapting the Statutes in accordance with Church law. Recently, the Rector sent two letters to the Secretary of State, in which he expressed his inability to implement the requirements, conditioning the change of the statutes to the renunciation of the right of the archdiocese to participate in the administration of the University. The participation of the Archdiocese of Lima in the administration of the University has been repeatedly confirmed by the judgments of civil courts in Peru. Given the attitude of the University, together with other facts, the Holy See was obliged to adopt this measure, while reaffirming the duty of the University to submit to canonical legislation.

For some background on the conflict between the Vatican and the elite Peruvian university, check out Carlos Polo’s March article in CWR, “The Anti-Catholic Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.” A former student at the university, Polo says that while none of his professors were Catholic, they were not particularly anti-Catholic. The university administration, on the other hand, has openly insulted the cardinal archbishop of Lima and has promoted many causes inconsistent with the Catholic faith:

The First Latin American Juridical Congress on Reproductive Rights, held in Arequipa in November of 2009, brought together the principal and most radical proponents of abortion, gender ideology, lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual organizations, and other similar causes. The discussion, during the whole event, was intentionally and openly anti-Catholic. One of the most notable features of the event was the important contingent of speakers from the PUCP, as has been documented by the organization “Peru Defends Life.” 

The PUCP faculty includes figures such as Monica Roa, who led the effort to decriminalize abortion in Colombia in 2006. She is currently teaching a course at the University entitled “Jurisdiction, Human Rights, and Democracy.” Roa is the director of Women World Link and is known as one of the most important representatives for the Center for Reproductive Rights, two organizations that promote litigation at the international level in order to establish abortion as a “human right” throughout the world. It should be little surprise that Roa, dressed up as a bishop, publicly mocks the teachings of the Catholic Church in her Facebook account. 

The University’s brochure for Roa’s course presents her simply as a “specialist in the area of gender and women’s rights” from Colombia’s University of the Andes. 

Read Polo’s article here, and the Vatican’s announcement about the university here.


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Catherine Harmon 574 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.