Day one, and so far I am impressed at the way in which Catholic schools and universities are genuinely trying to find ways to renew their Catholic ethos, even going so far as to admit that it has been compromised by financial and administrative issues. They key seems, at least with Catholic universities, to ensure that the administration and the theologians are on board with Catholic teaching and act as a witness to it, thus transforming the university culture.
One interesting point which emerged today is that Ex Corde Ecclesiae was very much the work of committees from the universities, working together with John Paul II and having a real input. They wanted an inspiring document that would be charter for them and not just a list of norms. The comment was made that the vast majority of Catholic universities accepted it warmly at the time and are still using it as their frame of reference.
Today I also I met the ebullient President of the University of Dallas (where two Chavagnes men have gone: Brian Roxburgh and Dr Philip Gonzales), and I spotted a delegation from St Mary’s, Twickenham. I must try and speak to them tomorrow.