LIMA, Peru, July 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Vatican in a ruling on July 21 stripped the ultraliberal Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PCUP) of its status as “Catholic” and “Pontifical” because it has rejected Vatican oversight in accordance with Church law. A Peruvian pro-life leader charges that the university has been home to many abortion supporters.

However, the university administration is claiming that it has a right to the name, and says it has no plans to change it.

“The PCUP has the name ‘Pontifical Catholic University of Peru’ registered. This is our official name and by it we are recognized nationally and internationally. We have the complete right to continue using it as long as we consider it convenient,” said university president Marcial Rubio in an interview following the Holy See’s declaration.

The PCUP was founded in 1917 and given canonical status in 1942. Since 1967 the university “has on various occasions unilaterally modified its Statutes, seriously prejudicing the interests of the Church,” the Vatican says.

The university is known for having professors who whose teachings are contrary to Catholicism, and for disregarding Cardinal Cipriani Archbishop of Lima, who is Great Chancellor of the University. Carlos Polo, a Peruvian Catholic who heads the Latin America office of the Population Research Institute, and who received his degree in Social Anthropology from the PUCP in 1987, writes that the university has been home to many supporters of abortion and has financially supported many pro-abortion groups.

“Many of the principal promoters of abortion and gender ideology [in Peru] work at the PUCP or in the institutes that depend on it. Many of the Non-Governmental Organizations with an anti-life ideology receive financial assistance from the PUCP or receive their academic support from the same.  There is no abortionist platform in Peru that lacks a relationship with the PUCP,” Polo wrote in a statement published by the Population Research Institute.

The Vatican has been encouraging the university to realign itself to the Church since 1990, the same year ‘Ex Corde Ecclesiae,’ or ‘On Catholic Universities’ was issued. The secretary of State met with the rector of the university, Marcial Rubio in February and gave a deadline of April 8 for it to change its statutes.

Rubio replied saying that it would change its statutes only if the Archdiocese gave up its administration of the university. The Holy See said that the Archdiocese has the right to its administration and this has been upheld in Peruvian courts.

Following these communications The Holy See declared the university to no longer be called “Catholic’ or ‘Pontifical.’ Despite the loss of its Catholic status, Church officials are continuing to request that the university change its policies, while the university leadership remains defiant, refusing even to alter its name.

The university faces more problems than just losing its name if it does not comply. The land on which the university is situated was donated with the stipulation that the institution should remain Catholic, according to one version of the will, in which the benefactor said the land should be given to the Archdiocese of Lima in the event that the university lost its Catholic identity. Control over that estate is currently being adjudicated in the courts.

“The Holy See will carefully follow the evolution of the situation of the University, hoping that in the near future the competent academic authorities may reconsider their position, making it possible to revise the present measures,” the Vatican stated in a press release,

“The renewal requested by the Holy See will make the University better able to respond to its mission of carrying the message of Christ to mankind, society and different cultures, in keeping with the mission of the Church in the world.”