The Vatican's number two education official predicts that Pope Benedict XVI will follow a path of "evangelical pruning" of secularized Catholic colleges and universities, declaring them no longer Catholic.
Archbishop Michael Miller, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education and former president of the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, addressed officials and faculty at the University of Notre Dame on Monday.
Miller said that his prediction was based on an examination of the new Pope's writings and approach. The Pope has argued "that it might be better for the Church not to expend its resources trying to preserve institutions if their Catholic identity has been seriously compromised," Miller said.
In the Holy Father's view, "the measure of an institution can be judged by its Catholic integrity," Miller said. If the institution secularizes, "it might be a matter of truth and justice that such an institution is no longer upheld. . . . [I]f a Catholic institution is no longer motivated by a Catholic identity, it is better to let it go."