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January 19, 2000


Theological Institute of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to Grant
Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology

On December 30, 1999, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua received the Vatican decrees which grant permission for the establishment of the Theological Institute at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and entitle the Institute to award Pontifical degrees. The decision by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education gives authority for the Theological Institute located at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, to award the Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology to its students who successfully complete the Institute's course of studies.

Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, conveyed the official decrees to Cardinal Bevilacqua which established the autonomous Theological Institute and which approved the statutes of the Institute for a 5-year experimental period. In addition, the Vatican Congregation appointed Monsignor Michael F. Burbidge as President of the Institute, who will also continue to serve as Rector of St. Charles Seminary.

"Please accept my heartfelt congratulations for this achievement which certainly constitutes a great witness to the fact that the living Truth is hard at work among you all, inspiring your faith ever more fully to the loving search of understanding," wrote Archbishop Montalvo. "Here, most certainly is an eloquent sign ‘ex corde Ecclesiae' that the Spirit is indeed speaking efficaciously to the Church in Philadelphia."

The Theological Institute is a distinct educational entity which will offer comprehensive, intensive theological studies at Saint Charles Seminary in cooperation with several of the programs and departments of the Seminary. The Theological Institute will award the Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology ("S.T.B.") to students who successfully complete 118 graduate level credits under the direction of the Pontifical Faculty.

"For more than seven years, it has been my primary interest to enhance the programs of Saint Charles Seminary by establishing a Pontifical Faculty with the authority from the Congregation for Catholic Education to confer Pontifical Degrees," said Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua. "I am gratified by the decision of the Congregation to approve the application of Saint Charles Seminary to grant Pontifical Degrees and to establish the Theological Institute."

The Theological Institute is charged with cultivating and promoting knowledge of Christian revelation through scientific research and systematically teaching these truths to its students. In addition, its purpose is to train students to reach a high level of qualification in Catholic theology with the intellectual background necessary to carry out effectively their numerous and diverse ministries.

"On behalf of the Seminary community I express my deepest gratitude to the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education for the establishment of the Theological Institute and for the ever present leadership and support of Cardinal Bevilacqua," said Monsignor Burbidge.

The S.T.B. program will compliment the existing Program for Priestly Formation and will be offered in conjunction with the degrees of Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in Theology which are conferred by the Seminary.


Editor's Note: Media requesting more information should contact Rev. Msgr. John A. Close at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary at (610) 785-6231, or via fax at (610) 617-8737.

John Miller
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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