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Peru's Catholic university rejects Vatican deadline; conflict continues

Catholic World News - April 11, 2012

The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) has announced that it did not comply with a Vatican deadline to bring its governing statutes into conformity with Church rules.

After years of conflict, during which university leaders refused to comply with directives from Church authorities, the Vatican announced in February that it had given the PUCP a deadline of Easter Sunday by which the school must revise its statutes. University officials said on April 3 that they had met the Vatican deadline for revising the PUCP statutes. But those revisions have not been presented to the university’s governing body, and in a new statement issued on April 9—Easter Monday--the university said “there is no agreement on a comprehensive solution to the problems that exist.” The Vatican has not issued any public comment on the matter. PUCP officials had scheduled a meeting of the university assembly, which could confirm changes in the school’s governing statutes, for April 13. But the school has now postponed the assembly meeting, saying that it will not take place until there is a resolution to a separate legal conflict with Lima’s Cardinal Luis Cipriani. The cardinal has asked a Peruvian court to enforce an agreement that the Archbishop of Lima should have a seat on the PUCP board; the university has refused to honor that agreement. PUCP officials now say that they will convene the school’s assembly (and by implication approve the new governing statutes) only when there is “a corresponding agreement” with Cardinal Cipriani to resolve his legal challenge. The cardinal has pointed out that the two issues are separate. The Vatican has not confirmed that the proposed changes to the PUCP governing statutes would satisfy the requirements for maintaining the school’s status as a pontifical institution.

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