Belgium: Catholic university drops the C word

7 October 2010
De Standaard

, 7 October 2010

"Change of course for K.U.Leuven,” headlines De Standaard. The Brussels daily reports that the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, one of Europe’s oldest universities, is planning to drop the “Katholieke” (Catholic) from its name. The management of K.U.Leuven wants to distance the institution from the numerous paedophile scandals that have tarnished the reputation of the Catholic Church, and also the Vatican’s stance on scientific ethics, which was highlighted by its criticism of the most recent Nobel prize for medicine. "The Catholic message is not appropriate for the university," explains K.U.Leuven rector Mark Waer, who points out that "a fifth of the students at the institution are foreigners." They need to know that "the Vatican has no influence on the management of the university," which plans to play an important role in genetic research.