Bishops, Catholic Colleges Continue Ex Corde Ecclesiae Dialogue On Relations With Church, Society

January 10, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The relationship betweenthe U.S. bishops and Catholic colleges has led to increased cooperation overthe last decade, according to the "Final Report for the 10-year Review of TheApplication of Ex Corde Ecclesiae forthe United States."

BishopJoseph P. McFadden, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the one-page report, found at www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catholic-education/higher-education/.

Thereport recommends formation of a working group of bishops and college presidentsunder the Catholic Education committee "to continue the dialogue aboutstrategic subjects on a national level." The working group would gatherinformation on best practices, offer suggestions for local conversation, and,as needed, develop resources.

Areas to be studied include:

″Continuationof dialogue between bishops and presidents toward greater cooperation inadvancing the mission of the Church

″Hiringfor mission

″Formationof trustees, faculty and staff regarding Catholic identity

″Addressingthe need for improved, accurate and deeper theological and catecheticalknowledge through curricular and pastoral means.

The report, dated June 11, 2012, providesa clear course for continued dialogue regarding Catholic higher education. Thereview process began in January 2011 when bishops were asked to holdconversations with college and university presidents in their dioceses. Morethan 100 bishops reported on their conversations at regional meetings duringthe November 2011 General Assembly and, the report said, "the prevailing tonewas positive and the news was good."

"Bishops reported that they believeour institutions of Catholic higher education have made definite progress inadvancing Catholic identity," the report said. "The relationship betweenbishops and presidents on the local level can be characterized as positive andengaged, demonstrating progress on courtesy and cooperation in the last tenyears. Clarity about Catholic identity among college and university leadershiphas fostered substantive dialogues and cultivated greater mission drivenpractices across the university."

In1990, Pope John Paul II in 1990, issued Excorde ecclesiae (From the heart of the Church), an apostolic constitutionon Catholic higher education. It described the identity and mission of Catholiccolleges and universities and provided General Norms to help fulfill itsvision.

On November 17, 1999, the U.S.Catholic Bishops approved "The Application of Ex corde ecclesiae for the United States." The action was granted recognitio by the Congregation forBishops in Rome May 3, 2000 and became particular law May 3, 2001.

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Keywords: Ex cordeecclesiae, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop JosephMcFadden, Catholic bishops, Pope John Paul II, Committee on Catholic Education,Catholic identity, Catholic colleges and universities

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