Phi Beta Cons

Ex corde Ecclesiae, 20 Years Later

The upcoming August 15 will be the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s  apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae, which defined what the Church means by a Catholic university or college, and which has the binding effect of Church law. To commemorate this landmark proclamation, the Cardinal Newman Society (on whose board of advisers I serve) is revisiting and reflecting on its meaning and effects. 

As the society indicates, Ex corde remains of great importance today, both to Catholics and the general public, as Pope Benedict XVI works to fortify the Catholic identity in the public square, a main goal of his pontificate.  

For two decades the Church has worked to implement this directive in face of massive opposition from the “Catholic-in-name-only” higher education status quo. 

Writes a society spokesman in an e-mail:

We have seen the tide start to change in the last ten years in favor of Ex corde, and we must keep up the momentum.  New Catholic colleges are forming, faithful to the Church; older Catholic institutions are learning the boundaries better; and several Catholic universities are developing offices dedicated to maintaining their Catholic identity.  Even the U.S. bishops are now more emboldened than ever to fight for our Catholic identity!

For those of you for whom such matters resonate, read more here, in particular under “Ex corde Ecclesiae: A Backgrounder.”

Candace de Russy — Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

Most Popular

Religion

The Catholic Church’s Rotherham

‘We are deeply saddened.” So begin the many perfunctory statements of many Catholic bishops today in response to the Pennsylvania grand-jury report detailing how priests in that state abused children and how bishops shuffled these priests around. What deeply saddens these men? The rape of children, the ... Read More
Education

The Deflation of the Academic Brand

Trumpism is sometimes derided as an updated know-nothingism that rejects expertise and the input of credentialed expertise. Supposedly, professionals who could now save us tragically have their talent untapped as they sit idle at the Council on Foreign Relations, the economics Department at Harvard, or in the ... Read More
Elections

My Journey into the Heart of Obama-Trump Country

After eight years of displeasure with Barack Obama’s presidency, Carla Johnson was ready for a drastic change. The 41-year-old lab technician from Cresco, Iowa, fell for Donald Trump very early in the 2016 primary season. She loved his “take-no-[sh**]” style, his conservative stances on gun control and ... Read More