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Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
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Pontifical Biblical, Oriental Institutes merged with Pontifical Gregorian University

March 19, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: The Vatican has announced that the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute will be merged with the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Originally known as the Roman College, the Pontifical Gregorian University was founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, in 1551. Pope St. Pius X founded the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 1909; Pope Benedict XV founded the Pontifical Oriental Insitute (for Eastern Christian studies) in 1917. The two institutes have long been entrusted to the Society of Jesus.

The Vatican announcement stated that Pope Francis ordered the merger in a chirograph dated December 17, 2019. The Holy See Press Office, however, did not publicize the chirograph at the time—nor was the chirograph ordering the merger among the chirographs that were published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis in 2019 and 2020.

While the merger has been discussed for some time—the Gregorian’s rector said in 2022 that he hoped the merger would take place by 2028—the omissions raise questions about why Vatican officials chose not to disclose the papal letter through normal channels in 2019, and whether there are other documents issued by Pope Francis that are currently being hidden from the public.

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