By Larissa I. López

The Congregation for Catholic Education has given three new Instructions for Institutes of Higher Studies, which will enable dioceses’ Theology Schools and Religious Institutes to affiliate themselves to an Ecclesiastical Faculty.

They are norms that stem from the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium on Universities and Ecclesiastical Faculties, promulgated by Pope Francis on December 8, 2017. This document establishes “the fundamental criteria for the renewal and re-launching of the contribution of ecclesiastical studies to the Church missionary endeavor,” indicates the Instruction.

One of the criteria “refers to the urgent need to ‘create networks’ between the different institutions that cultivate and promote ecclesiastical studies anywhere in the world, and activate with the decision the opportune synergies” (VG, Proemio, 4, d). “It is a perspective that traces a demanding task for the disciplines contemplated in ecclesiastical studies and for the Institutions themselves,” reads the said text.

The Congregation for Catholic Education, in order “to stimulate with pondered and prophetic determination at all levels, a re-launching of ecclesiastical studies in the context of the new stage of the mission of the Church” (VG, Proemio, 1), promulgates this Instruction on the affiliation of the Institutes of Higher Studies to Ecclesiastical Faculties, in order to provide for both the progress of these Institutes as well as for their appropriate distribution in the different parts of the world,” explains the document published today.

The Instructions will be implemented on the first day of the 2021-2022 academic year, or the academic year 2022, according to the academic calendar of the different regions.

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