What is Ex corde Ecclesiae?
It is the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic higher education issued by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1990. The document identifies what constitutes Catholic
identity at Catholic colleges and universities and specifies General Norms to achieve a Catholic mission. These Norms are binding on Catholic colleges as
an application of Canon Law. In 1999 the U.S. bishops approved guidelines to implement Ex corde Ecclesiae in the United States; these became effective in 2001. Compliance by the U.S. Catholic colleges and universities varies widely. Clearly, a Catholic institution that minimizes or subverts Ex corde Ecclesiae, which has the force of Canon Law, has serious problems with its Catholic identity. All colleges recommended in this Guide enthusiastically support and abide by Ex corde Ecclesiae.
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