Pontifical university to require students to take safeguarding course

A man in a black cassock wears headphones and sits among women religious and other people

Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, attends a seminar on safeguarding children at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in this March 23, 2017, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

by Catholic News Service

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Beginning with the 2023-24 academic year, all students working on degrees at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome will be required to take a three-hour course on "safeguarding and care for human dignity," the university announced.

The course will be "a necessary requirement for the completion of the baccalaureate, licentiate and doctorate academic degrees," said a press release from the university March 23.

The non-credit course, to be offered by the university's Institute of Anthropology, will be offered in a variety of languages, the statement said.

"The university intends to promote a formation that takes into account the intrinsic relationship between faith, reason and culture, and cares that students, in the course of their studies, acquire the tools that will allow them to be responsible and mature participants of their own formation," Jesuit Fr. Mark A. Lewis, rector of the university, said in a statement.

Founded in 1551, the Jesuit-run Gregorian is the oldest and largest of the pontifical universities in Rome. In the 2021-22 school year, according to statistics published in January, it had 2,844 students -- mostly priests, seminarians and religious -- from 125 countries and awarded 633 degrees.

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