The Catholic University of America

John Garvey, University President, was quoted in a National Catholic Reporter story on the role of Catholic universities in academia. See below.

Newman Society leader says 'faithful' Catholic colleges set pace in academia

From: National Catholic Reporter
Date: Feb. 15, 2017
Author: James C. Webster


... After acknowledging Reilly for "calling the Catholic higher education establishment to account," Catholic University of America President John Garvey described a vision of a great Catholic university that did not track along with the Newman Society's perspective.

CUA has "a different constitutional structure than other Catholic colleges and universities," he pointed out. Chartered by Pope Leo XIII in 1887, it has a board of about 50 trustees with equal numbers of bishops and laypeople. "Over time that has kept us faithful to our mission, but in the '60s we wandered a bit," he said, relating the explosive controversy over the denial of tenure to theologian Charles Curran.

Contemporary discussion about the relationship between the church and academia "tends to focus on things like who the commencement speaker is or whether the teachers in the theology discipline have a mandatum from the local bishop," he said. "We tend to hear two different voices, one the people who emphasize the importance of absolute autonomy for a Catholic university to be truly a university, and on the other side there are people who emphasize that the institution must be faithful to Catholic teaching and therefore accountable to church authority if they are to be Catholic. But neither side really gets what a Catholic university is and how to build one."

To Garvey, "the formula for building a great university is like building a baseball team: hire great players" — a faculty with great scholars and teachers will make a great university. The "punch line" in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, he said, is that a majority of the faculty at a Catholic college will be Catholic. (CUA's is 58 percent Catholic, according to The Newman Guide for Choosing a Catholic College.) ...


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