Rector Appointed for Gregorian University

Jesuit Provincial in France Moved to Rome

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ROME, APRIL 27, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI confirmed the appointment of Jesuit Father Francis Xavier Dumortier as the next rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome.

Last week the university's general secretariat reported the appointment of the priest who has most recently been serving as Jesuit provincial in France.

On Sept. 1, Father Dumortier will replace Jesuit Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a consultor of numerous Vatican dicasteries, who is concluding his second three-year period as the university's rector.

In a university communiqué, Father Dumortier said: "I am totally conscious of the importance of the Pontifical Gregorian University in the Church and for the Church.

"Until now, I have not had opportunities to know well, from within, this prestigious institution that has so many capacities and so much dedication."

"Hence, I have everything to learn from each one of you," he added, addressing the academic community.

The priest affirmed, "I will dedicate the necessary time in the next months and weeks, while I learn a language that, up to now, I listened to with pleasure, without being able to speak it: Italian."

In reality, Father Dumortier is well informed on the academic life of the university, due to his participation in a consultative commission for the academic institutions of the Society of Jesus in Rome. 

Born Nov. 4, 1948, in Levroux, France, he entered the Society of Jesus at age 25.

The priest has been a philosophy professor for 20 years. In particular, he taught philosophic ethics at the Sevres Center, the Jesuit faculty of philosophy and theology in France, where he was rector from 1997 to 2003. 

From 2003 to 2009 Father Dumortier was superior of the French province of the Society of Jesus.