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THE IDENTITY AND THE NATURE OF THE INSTITUTION

The Pontifical John Paul II Institute for studies on Marriage and
Family, established in 1981 by His Holiness John Paul II, with its central
faculty in Rome at the Pontifical Lateran University has a network of
specialized sessions for studies on Marriage and Family across the
whole world. The Institute is in a certain sense an “unicum” among the
Ecclesiastical Academies. In fact, the Institute is one (with one Chancellor
and one President) and, at the same time, it is structured on each
Continent by means of the juridical figure known as Session. Through
the Apostolic Constitution Magnum Matrimonii Sacramentum of 07
October 1982, the Feast of Our Lady of Rosary, the Central Session of
the Institute was established and its identity and purpose were defined.
On that occasion the Institute was entrusted in a special way to the care
of the most Blessed Virgin Mary under her title, Our Lady of Fatima.
Since the foundation of the Central session in Rome, the Institute
has spread to the five Continents with sessions in Washington D.C (United
States), Mexico City and Guadalajara (Mexico), Valencia (Spain), Salvador
de Bahia (Brazil), Cotonou (Benin-Africa), Melbourne (Australia) and
Changanacherry (India). Though the courses at this Indian Session of
the Institute had already started in the year 1997, only in November 2001
did the Institute become the Indian Session of the Pontifical John Paul II
Institute through a Decree from the Congregation for Catholic Education.
The studies undertaken at this Institute are awarded with Pontifical
degrees from the Lateran University.
The Academic Authorities of the Institute consist of the Chancellor
and Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, the President and Council
of the session. The Institute shall have a special connection with the
Pontifical Council for the Family in accord with the terms of the Motu
Proprio, Familia a Deo Instituta, (5 f)

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