Paris, Institut Catholique de
PARIS, INSTITUT CATHOLIQUE DE
An institution of higher learning, the Catholic university of Paris.
History. In 1845 Denis Auguste Affre, Archbishop of Paris, opened an ecclesiastical school of higher learning in a former Carmelite convent. It was an old building situated in a large park where, in the 17th century, the Carmelites, desirous of introducing St. Teresa's reform into France, had established residence. It was in this house and park that in September 1792 the priests and bishops (240 in number) imprisoned in the convent were massacred. Their remains were buried in the crypt of the church. J. B. lacordaire, OP, lived in the same house for several years and F. Ozanam is interred there (1853).
In 1875 the French parliament passed a law granting freedom to higher education and permitting the establishment of private universities. That same year 22 bishops meeting in Paris decided to found a Catholic university in the capital. The three Faculties of Law, Letters, and Science were thereupon established and the Catholic University of Paris inaugurated July 16, 1876. It lacked only a Faculty of Theology, which was difficult to found since there already existed a state Faculty of Theology at the Sorbonne. This, however, was suppressed in 1886 and another one established at the Catholic University in 1889.
In the meantime, the law of 1880 curtailed freedom of higher education by denying private institutions the power to grant degrees and the right to use the title university. Thenceforth the Catholic University of Paris had to be satisfied with the title Catholic Institute of Paris, which it still bears.
The years 1893 to 1910 were very trying ones for the Catholic Institute, which had to cope with serious financial difficulties (1893–95) and problems arising from what was later known as Modernism, a movement precipitated by theories on the inspiration of Sacred Scripture and its historical value proposed by Alfred loisy, whom Maurice d' Hulst, the rector, and Louis duchesne had appointed to the Catholic Institute in 1893. Following the Modernist crisis, the Faculty of Theology was reorganized and the major chairs of dogma, apologetics, and moral philosophy were entrusted to the Society of Jesus. In 1906, acting on the law of separation, the state confiscated the property and buildings of the Catholic Institute. They were not bought back until 1923. The importance of the canonical Faculties (Theology, Philosophy, and Canon Law) was established in 1935 when the Catholic Institute, having adopted the constitution Deus scientiarum Dominus, was named a pontifical university.
Development. The Catholic Institute witnessed much growth after World War I. It has witnessed the multiplication of affiliated institutes and schools which, because of their specialization, have succeeded in eliminating the rigid programs imposed in the Faculties and in opening up its instruction to newly emerging disciplines. The Institute is composed of three Faculties of Religious Sciences (Theology, Canon Law, and Philosophy) and three of Humanities (Law, Literature and Natural Sciences). There are schools of liturgy, Oriental languages, social sciences, Christian Greek and Latin, French language and culture, and numerous affiliated research centers and institutes. Each Faculty, Institute, or School has its own program, examinations, and diplomas, the most common of which are the licentiate and the doctorate. Each has its own dean (Faculties), director, or president (Schools and Institutes), assisted by a council that determines internal affairs and elects the professors. The decisions of these councils are approved by the rectoral council.
Faculties, Schools, and Institutes all enjoy administrative, but not financial, autonomy; the recruitment and titles of professors vary according to each Faculty, School, or Institute. Chaplains are responsible for the students' religious instruction and formation. Representatives chosen by the students assure rapport between teachers and pupils. The latter have their own autonomous organizations.
Bibliography: Annuaire de l'Institut catholique de Paris. Nouvelles de l'Institut catholique, periodical. a. baudrillart, Vie de Monseigneur d'Hulst, v. (Paris 1912–14); L'Institut catholique (Paris 1930); Vingt-cinq ans de rectorat: L'Institut catholique de Paris (1907–1932) (Paris 1932). j. brugerette, Le Prêtre français et la société contemporaine, 3 v. (Paris 1933–38) v.2 Vers la séparation j. calvet, "L'Institut catholique de Paris" in L. HALPHEN et al., Aspects de l'Université de Paris (Paris 1949) 251–266.