Holy See To Address Catholic Higher Ed

April 17, 2008

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Pope Benedict XVI continues his visit of Wasington, D.C. today.
This morning he'll raise his voice in a huge outdoor mass, but later he'll give a more intimate address for Catholic educators, some from Chicago.

Catholic Popes do not lead Catholic higher education, but their opinions do count. Today, Benedict will speak to leaders of Catholic universities and colleges.

DePaul University President Dennis Holtschneider will be there. Holtschneider says the Pope could speak about Catholic identity. He says lately, Catholic universities have been hiring more non-Catholic faculty.

HOLTSCHNEIDER: By creating a truly diverse institution, how do you then keep the Catholic mission of that college alive, vibrant and well? And so, that's the back-and-forth of the strategic questions we ask everyday internally and I think he's going to weigh-in on those matters himself.

Holtschneider says Pope Benedict is well-suited to questions about higher education. Before he became Pope, Benedict taught at five Catholic universities.

I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.