Athenaeum Antonianum Gets University Status

A Franciscan Institution of Higher Learning in Rome

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ROME, FEB. 1, 2005 ( The Pontifical Athenaeum Antonianum now has the status of a pontifical university.

The Congregation for Catholic Education informed the minister general of the Order of Friars Minor of the granting of the title of pontifical university to the institution on the part of John Paul II through a letter of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, dated Jan. 11.

In the letter, according to the order’s Web page, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, stresses that the title was granted «on the basis of the possession of the requisites traditionally required and in consideration of the appreciated service of academic formation carried out by the said athenaeum.»

Father José Rodríguez Carballo, minister general of the order and grand chancellor of the athenaeum, officially announced the new status to the rector and deans of the athenaeum last week.

The official academic act of celebrating this event will be held March 18, in combination with the installation of a new rector.

The current pontifical universities in Rome are the Gregorian, the Lateran, the Urban, the Salesian, the University of St. Thomas Aquinas («Angelicum») and the University of the Holy Cross.

Antonianum has schools of theology, biblical sciences and archaeology, and canon law. It is also the headquarters of the Redemptor Hominis Higher Institute of Religious Sciences, the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality, and the College of Medieval and Franciscan Studies.

Located near the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the institution started in 1887. Pius XI declared it a pontifical athenaeum in 1938.

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