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CTI signs affiliation agreement

- Nigel Akuani and Abigail Seta

Port Moresby: The Catholic Theological Institute (CTI) is a step closer to be able to offer a Bachelor in Sacred Theology (STB) granted by the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines after signing an affiliation agreement.  


In an official gathering between representatives of CTI and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Thursday, 23rd January, the documents namely the ‘Affiliation Agreement’ and the ‘Norms to be Observed’ were signed in triplicate copies by His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC, Pro-Chancellor of CTI and Rev. Dr. Joseph Vnuk OP, President of CTI. 


However, the affiliation is not official until approved by the Congregation of Education - the pontifical congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for Catholic universities, faculties, and institutes of higher study. 


This ceremony marks that UST is sponsoring CTI’s petition to the Congregation of Education for affiliation. The STB follows the universal requirements set by the Congregation and qualifies a graduate for further studies in any ecclesiastical university.


In his welcome speech, Rev. Vnuk, told of how CTI had been seeking for a number of years to have its degrees approved by UST and spoke of the many changes to meet UST’s standards. 

“The signing indicates that UST recognizes that CTI has met those standards and that CTI is prepared to maintain those standards and to meet its obligations to UST. With this affiliation, we are able to train more and more people for teaching positions so that one day CTI will be run primarily by local priests and religious and will move up to accrediting higher degrees,” he said. 


Representing UST were Rev. Dr. Jannel N Abogado OP, Regent of Studies of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, Rev. Dr. Florentino Bolo Jr, OP, Director, UST Institute of Religionand Mr Leo-Martin Angelo Ruiz Ocampo, Academic Collaborations Officer, UST. 


In his remarks, Rev. Dr. Jannel N Abogado OP said that the affiliation was an essential aspect to improving the formation of clergy and the local church. He called for CTI to take full advantage of the benefits of the collaboration with UST in pressing forward the affiliation process. 


Cardinal Ribat described the signing as the end of one long and challenging journey and the start of another for CTI in its unwavering efforts toward achieving affiliation with UST. 


The special occasion was graced by the presence of Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, His Excellency Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal; Chair of CTI Governing Council, Bp Donald Lippert; Regent of Studies of the Dominican Province of Philippines, Rev. Dr Jannel N Abogado OP; Director of UST Institute of Religion, Rev. Dr Florentino Bolo OP; PNG MSC Provincial, Rev. John Willio; PNG, Australia, and SI Dominican Provincial, Rev. Anthony Walsh; Catholic Bishops Conference General Secretary, Fr Giorgio Licini PIME; Priests, Religious Sister, seminarians and laity.

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