Pontifical Lateran University

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Template:Infobox University The Pontifical Lateran University (Pontificia Università Lateranense or Lateranum) is a university by pontifical right based in Rome, Italy. The university also hosts the central session of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. The university is known as "The Pope's University". The university's Grand Chancellor is the Vicar General to the Holy Father for the Diocese of Rome, and thus the university is placed directly under the authority of the Pope. The university can boast of four saints among its alumni. Today the Pontifical Lateran university has a student body from over 100 nationalities.


The present Pontifical Lateran University was founded in 1773 by Pope Clement XIV after he had suppressed the Society of Jesus, and officially entrusted the clergy of Rome with the mission to teach theology and philosophy to seminarians from the Roman Colleges.

In 1824 Pope Leo XII restored the order and returned to the Jesuits what became the Pontifical Gregorian University, but allowed the secular clergy who had been replaced to continue to devote themselves to teaching: at the site where the Palace of Saint Apollinaris stood in 1853, Pope Pius IX founded the Faculty of Canon Law and Civil Law and the Pontifical Institute Utriusque Iuris. The new institution took the name of Pontifical Roman Seminary University.

Pope Pius XI gave the Ateneo its permanent seat at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and in 1932 the Chancellor was assigned as Cardinal vicar of Rome. Pope Pius XII in 1958 established the Pontifical Institute Pastorale. The following year, Pope John XXIII erected the institute into a university and gave it the name of the Pontifical Lateran University.

In 1981 Pope John Paul II founded, in the University, the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, which has the right to confer academic degrees.

Since 2001, the Lateran University Press has been officially established to take care of numerous prestigious scientific publications and the seven magazines that make up the quality contribution offered to the international scientific community.

According to the Decree of the Ministry of University and Scientific Research of the Italian Republic of 21 September 2006, implementing the Law No. 63, March 5, 2004, the Laurea in Law (L/31) and Laurea Magistrale in Law (LMG/01) are equivalent to degrees issued by Italian universities.


The title of the Grand Chancellor is, under the statutes of the University, the vicar general of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, who Template:As of was Cardinal Agostino Vallini. The rector is the theologian Enrico dal Covolo, Titular Bishop of Heraclea. Grand Chancellors of the Pontifical Lateran University since 1991 are:

  • Camillo Ruini (1 July 1991 - 27 June 2008)
  • Agostino Vallini (From 27 June 2008)


  • Pietro Rossano (1982 - 15 June 1991)
  • Umberto Betti, O.F.M. ( 1991–1995 )
  • Angelo Scola (15 July 1995 - 5 January 2002)
  • Salvatore Fisichella (18 January 2002 - 30 June 2010)
  • Enrico dal Covolo, S.D.B. (30 June 2010 - )


The University is divided into four faculties:

  • Philosophy
  • Theology
  • Canon Law
  • Civil law

There are two institutes:

  • Utriusque Iuris
  • Pastoral Institute Redemptor Hominis


The library of the Pontifical Lateran University - "Library of Blessed Pius IX", known originally as the "Biblioteca Pia" - was founded by Pope Pius IX in 1854. The history of the library is connected directly to the foundation of the university at its original seat at St. Apollinare in Rome. The library is in fact a collection of smaller libraries from various ecclesial and academic institutes in Rome which have been amalgamated to form the present library. The library consists of collections from the private libraries of Pope Gregory XIII, Pope Pius IX, Pope Pius XII, the German College,the monastery of SS. Bonifacio and Alessio on the Aventine, and the library of the Geronimiani fathers. Successively various ex-alumni have contributed to the library. A new building for the housing of the library and reading room was built and officially inaugurated by Pope Benedict XVI on 21 October 2007. Presently the library consists of some 600,000 books. There is also a collection of 40,000 rare and antique volumes.

Theological Institute of Assisi

The University is also linked to university Pastoral Institute Redemptor Hominis and the Theological Institute of Assisi. The Theological Institute of Assisi is a training college established in 1971 in Assisi in the structures of Saint Francis sharing the premises of the Sacred Convent with the community of Friars Minor Conventual.
The Institute also has a documentation center. Since 1993, it is attached to the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical University Lateran, and serves as the academic institution designed to train students in theology. In this regard, it organizes courses of studies leading to diplomas of Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Licentiate of Sacred Theology as well as Franciscan studies for those wishing to be recruited into church office or intending to teach the Catholic religion in schools.

The Institute is currently chaired by John Bishop Hats.

External links

Template:Pontifical universities in Rome