Ex Corde Ecclesiae: CCCB To Issue Ordinances for Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada

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(Cornwall – CCCB)   The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has received approval (recognitio) from the Holy See for the ordinances that will implement the Vatican document Ex Corde Ecclesiae in Canada.

Ex Corde Ecclesiae is the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic higher education that describes the identity and mission of Catholic colleges and universities.   It was issued by Pope John Paul II on August 15, 1990, and provides general norms to assist Catholic colleges and universities in fulfilling their vision and mandate.  Each conference of bishops adapts the norms to the special circumstances of educational institutions of the country, which the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education also approves.

The document states: “Every Catholic university is to maintain communion with the universal Church and the Holy See; it is to be in close communion with the local Church and, in particular, with the diocesan bishop of the region or the nation in which it is located.

The Canadian ordinances, which were approved by the Bishops of Canada at the Plenary Assembly in October 2003, received the Holy See’s agreement on August 18, 2004.  They had been drawn up after consultations with the heads of Catholic colleges and universities across Canada, who worked closely with the CCCB liaison bishop, Halifax Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J.

The ordinances will be officially promulgated by the CCCB in the near future, and released in both English and French.   Once the ordinances are promulgated, the colleges and universities will have until August 18, 2005, one year following Vatican approval, to put them into effect.

The following Catholic colleges and universities are members of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada:

  • Corpus Christi College and St. Mark’s College, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • St. Mary’s University College, Calgary, Alberta
  • St. Joseph’s College and Newman Theological College, Edmonton, Alberta
  • St. Peter’s College, Muenster, Saskatchewan       
  • Campion College at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan       
  • St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Brescia College and King’s College at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
  • St. Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Université de Sudbury at Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario
  • University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto, Ontario
  • St. Jerome’s University College, Waterloo, Ontario
  • Assumption University, Windsor, Ontario
  • St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, August 08 2006  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.