Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, in Italian) is a Roman Catholic university under the Curial Congregation for Catholic Education, which it has entrusted to the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, or more commonly called Opus Dei. It was started in 1984 by Opus Dei, with the aim of offering the universal church an effective instrument for formation and research. Located in the heart of Rome, its stated mission is "to serve the whole Church by means of a broad and thorough work of research and formation in the ecclesiastical sciences, cooperating according to its special function with the evangelizing mission of the Church in the whole world."

Pope John Paul II granted the title of 'university' to the Pontifical Atheneum of the Holy Cross in July 1998, making it the sixth pontifical university in the city of Rome.

The University is open to lay people, both men and women, priests, seminarians, and religious brothers and sisters.


The university was an idea of the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá. His successor as head of Opus Dei, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo obtained the necessary approval from the Holy See, for it to begin during the school year 1984–85. Escrivá had a great devotion to the Roman Pontiff, whom he viewed as "Il dolce Cristo in terra", "the sweet Christ on earth," as St. Catherine of Siena used to say. Thus, he had a great love for the city of Rome and wanted to "Romanize" Opus Dei and many other people so that they will always be Catholic or universal in their way of thinking.


Most of the members of the academic staff hold degrees from both secular and ecclesiastical universities. It offers an ongoing formation both to its academic staff to students, providing them with information current issues. The ratio of academic staff to students in one to nine. The members of the faculty know and use at least five major modern languages (Italian, English, Spanish, French, and German) which enables them to fulfill their academic task of teaching an international student body coming from different continents, culture and language groups.


The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross offers university courses in ecclesiastical sciences. It now has four Schools: Theology, Canon Law, Philosophy, and Social Institutional Communication. It also has a Higher Institute of Religious Sciences which has correspondence learning.

Research and publications

During the academic year 2005-06, 40 books by faculty members and 78 doctoral theses were published.

The scientific journals of the university are:

*Annales Theologici
*Ius Ecclesiae
*Acta Philosophica

Enrollment and other data

For the school year 2006-07, the University has over 1500 students enrolled from 77 countries. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross is supported financially by the contributions of many benefactors, including non-Christians, from all over the world.

The university is located at Piazza di Sant'Apollinare 49, Rome. Its library is at Via dei Farnesi 82, near the famous Palazzo Farnese. Pontifical University of the Holy Cross Foundation is in New Rochelle, NY, USA.

The present Chancellor of the Pontifical University is the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría.

References and external links

* [http://www.pusc.it/eng/ Pontifical University of the Holy Cross] — official website of the university
* [http://www.universityholycross.org/university.php Pontifical University of the Holy Cross Foundation]
* [http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=8339 Roman Opus Dei Institute Becomes Pontifical University] - Catholic News
* [http://www.stoqproject.it/hcu.htm Science, Theology and Ontological Quest]
* [http://www.istitutogp2.it/areadiricerca/english/pontuniv.htm Pontifical Universities]
* [http://zenit.org/article-11947?l=english University of Holy Cross Marks Its 20th Anniversary: Cardinal Saraiva Martins Highlights Its Fidelity to the Pope]

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