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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vatican and liberation theologians battle for the soul of Pontifical University

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Aumenta la tensión entre el Vaticano y la Pontificia de Perú :: Educación :: Religión Digital

Tension between the Vatican and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Cardinal accused of wanting to end the pluralism of the academic centre

The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, a cradle of Liberation Theology, on Friday released a letter to the Vatican Secretary of state where they reject Cardinal Cipriani as confrontational as a dialogue partner in the process in which they are involved.

"The only way to achieve full peace that the University and the Peruvian bishops want is if Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani ceases to be the interlocutor between the hierarchy of the Church and the college authorities", says the rector Marcial Rubio in the letter sent to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See.

PUCP and the Vatican have fought since 2007 according to Rector Rubio who thinks Cipriani wishes to end the pluralism of the university, which is denied by the Cardinal .

Cipriani and the Vatican are seeking to enforce canon law , as noted by an apostolic visitor sent this year by Pope Benedict XVI in search of a solution.

The Vatican granted on April 8, an extension of the ultimatum set for that date by which PUCP should reform its statutes to bring them into line with canon law.

PUCP argues that the reform of the statute would mean accepting, among other things, "reforming the election of the rector , which is inconsistent with Peruvian law because it would affect our academic autonomy. "

The Peruvian Cardinal "shows an ongoing personel desire for conflict and public disputation, riding roughshod over the Catholic University of Peru (PUCP)," Rubio said in the letter published on the internet and in the local press.

The chancellor blamed Cipriani, Archbishop of Lima and a leading figure of Opus Dei for the breakdown of dialogue by refusing to "a comprehensive peace agreement on institutional relations" that includes adapting the statutes of the PUCP with canon law and stopping canonical process against the university.

The impasse puts a virtual chasm in the dialogue between the university and the church, always represented by Cipriani. The negotiations were "frozen" for over two weeks when the Cardinal announced his refusal to concede in the canonical process.

This affects the academic future of the 22,000 students of the PUCP, one of the most progressive universities in Peru and cradle of liberation theology, which appointed the priest Gustavo Gutierrez to this university in the 1960, Cipriani being his fiercest critic.

The Rector wrote to the Vatican's Number two , who made the letter public, "because we are aggrieved by the public statements of the Archbishop of Lima." The letter, dated May 9, was delivered to the Nuncio in Lima and an email sent to Bertone, says Rubio.

Founded in 1917 by a French priest and a group of lay people, the PUCP want to keep its pluralistic, tolerant and non-denominational charector, and understands the title of "Pontifical" as an honorific.
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