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Catholic Commission on Intellectual and Cultural Affairs

CATHOLIC COMMISSION ON INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS

A collaborative organization founded in 1946 with ecclesiastical approval to encourage Catholic intellectual life and activities both in the United States and abroad. In the words of one of its founders, Jesuit Father John Courtney murray, the Catholic Commission on Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (CCICA) seeks to provide "a ministry of clarification" on urgent matters of the day. In 1994 the membership stood at about 400. The organization is unique insofar as it is not defined by any one specialty. Membership is open to those outside the academy, though it is comprised primarily of full-time scholars.

The CCICA is governed by an executive board and its operations are overseen by an executive director. The longest serving executive director was Father William Rooney, a professor of English at the Catholic University of America. He served the CCICA from 1954 to 1982, after replacing Augustinian Father Edward Stanford (194654), the former president of Villanova University. It was under Rooney's tenure that thousands of dossiers on Catholic intellectuals were collected for use by the CCICA's membership committee, a project that proved to be unwieldy. All of these records were destroyed. The CCICA continues to publish an annual of its proceedings that is circulated privately among the members. Subject matter for these have included such topics as "Unity and Diversity in the Church" (1992), "The Young Catholics" (1993), and "The Future of Catholic Intellectual Life in the United States" (1999). In 2001 the CCICA's archive was located at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

[p. j. hayes]

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