|USCCB Ex corde Ecclesiae Five Year Review Process: Fact Sheet
- Pope John Paul II promulgated Ex corde Ecclesiae on August 15, 1990.
- The President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops decreed that the Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae for the United States be “in force as particular law for the United States on May 3, 2001” (Application, Decree of Promulgation).
- To assess implementation of Ex corde Ecclesiae and the Application, a review and evaluation process is to be completed “. . . during the five years following the effective date of this Application. . .” (Application, p. 21).
- This first review process is then to be accomplished by May 3, 2006.
- The second review will be of the Application document itself and will occur “ten years after the effective date of this Application” (Application, p. 21), by May 3, 2011.
- “During the five years following the effective date of this Application, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in collaboration with representatives of Catholic universities should develop a mutually agreeable process to review and evaluate the implementation of Ex corde Ecclesiae and this Application . . .” (Application, p. 21).
- The USCCBs’ Committee on Education designated its Bishops and Presidents Committee as the empowered body to draft the “mutually agreeable process” of review and evaluation regarding the implementation of Ex corde Ecclesiae and the Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae for the United States.
All Catholic colleges and universities are required to participate: “These particular norms are applicable to all Catholic colleges, universities and institutions of higher learning within the territory encompassed by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, contrary particular laws, customs or privileges notwithstanding” (Application, Article 1,1; cf. ECE, II, Art. 11).
These include the following:
- “Those universities established or approved by the Holy See, by the NCCB, by other hierarchical assemblies, or by individual diocesan bishops are to incorporate, by reference and in other appropriate ways, the general and particular norms into their governing documents and conform their existing statutes to such norms” (Application, Part II, Article 1, 2 a; ECE, II, Art 1, 3).
- “Other Catholic universities are to make the general and particular norms their own and include them in the university’s official documentation by reference and in other appropriate ways, and, as much as possible, conform their existing statutes to such norms. These steps to ensure their Catholic identity are to be carried out in agreement with the diocesan bishop of the place where the seat of the university is situated” (Application, Part II, Article 1, 2b; ECE II, Art 1, 3).
- “Catholic universities are to observe the general norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae and the . . . particular norms as they apply to their individual institutions, taking into account their own statutes and, as far as possible and appropriate, relevant provisions of applicable federal and state law, regulations and procedures” (Application, Part II, Article 1:2).
- “Any particular laws or customs presently in effect that are contrary to this Constitution are abolished. Also any privileges granted up to this day by the Holy See whether to physical or moral persons that are contrary to this present Constitution are abolished” (ECE, II, Article 11).
- “These Particular Norms [of the Application] are not applicable to ecclesiastical universities and faculties insofar as they are governed by the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana” (Application, Note 19, p. 23).
The review process will focus on “the nature, mission, and Catholic identity of the universities” (Application, p. 21). These areas are integral to the General Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae and the Particular Norms of the Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae, as highlighted below. See specific sections for explicit details.
- The General Norms are subject of a review as they “are valid for all Catholic Universities and other Catholic Institutions of Higher Education throughout the world” (ECE, Part II, 1:1).
- General Norms are to be applied concretely, through regional applications.
- The Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae for the United States outlines the concrete steps to be followed in this country.
- “The chief purpose of the following norms is to assist Catholic colleges and universities in their internal process of reviewing their Catholic identity and clarifying their essential mission and goals” (Application, Part II, p. 11).
- Particular Norms provide “concrete steps that will facilitate the implementation of the Holy Father’s document in the context of the relevant sections of the Code of Canon Law and complementary Church legislation” (Application, Part II, p. 11)
- Please refer to Part II, Articles 1-7 of the Application for specific guidelines. The USCCB Assistant Secretary for Higher Education and Campus Ministry would be happy to forward to you a Supplementary Fact Sheet entitled “Guide to Particular Norms” for key themes within each Article.