Pontifical Argentine Catholic University. It is a private Catholic confessional Argentine university, whose headquarters are located in the Puerto Madero neighborhood of the City of Buenos Aires.
Originally there was a first Catholic University with a Faculty of Law that could not continue to exist because it never obtained the validity of its degrees in Argentina; it existed from 1910 to 1922 under the name of Universidad Católica de Buenos Aires.
In 1922 the Courses of Catholic Culture (CCC) were created (later called the Catholic Institute of Culture of Buenos Aires) that offered a Catholic university education, parallel to the official universities. The Catholic Culture Courses had a school of Philosophy, another of Economics and later one of Arts, in addition to periodic academic publications and edited books. These courses served as predecessors for the foundation of the Argentine Catholic University.
These courses created for university students, representatives of the national, Catholic and anti-liberal thought of the country’s clergy, whose teaching staff included Atilio Dell’Oro Maini, Luis María Etcheverry Boneo, Octavio Nicolás Derisi, Guillermo Bolatti, Tomás Juan Carlos Solari, Zacarías de Vizcarra, Gustavo Juan Franceschi, Pablo Antonio Ramella, Manuel Moyano, among others.
The first board of directors was made up, together with Tomás Darío Casares, its creator, director and one of the main promoters of Thomism in Argentina, César Pico, Octavio Sergio Pico, Faustino Legón, Eduardo Saubidet, Juan Bordieu and Uriel O’Farell. And its headquarters were in a large mansion on Reconquista street in the city of Buenos Aires.
The CCCs also published works of different types, as was the case with several Hugo Wast opinion pieces.
Outstanding personalities such as Jorge Néstor Salimei, Juan Carlos Onganía, Juan Carlos Goyeneche, Nimio de Anquín, Francisco Luis Bernárdez, Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Leopoldo Marechal attended the Catholic Culture Courses.
The abolition of the state monopoly on university education was a historical aspiration mainly of the Catholic Church, an institution that had founded the first universities in the country, later expropriated. A clear precedent in this respect is José Manuel Estrada.
Towards the middle of the 20th century, by decision of the Christian Democrat Minister of Education Atilio Dell’Oro Maini, the legislation on the possibility of private education materialized thanks to decree-law 6403 of December 22, 1955, which allowed the creation of private universities with ability to deliver academic titles and diplomas consecrating university autonomy. Thanks to these efforts, on June 8, 1956, the Catholic University of Córdoba was created among other private higher educational institutions.
But during the government of President Arturo Frondizi, in 1958, there was a secularist movement created from the sanction of two great laws sanctioned during that government: the approval of the Teachers’ Statute and the one that enabled private universities to issue degrees professionals. It was undoubtedly the latter that led to a large student protest known as “Secular or free.” Finally, the sector of Frondicist radicals, Christian Democrats, Catholic nationalists and allies led by President Frondizi managed to consecrate the approval of this reform, which allowed the granting of legal status to new universities.
The foundation of the Argentine Catholic University took place on March 7, 1958 through the issuance of a collective declaration of the Episcopate, which also promulgated its first statutes on an experimental basis. On March 8, 1958, the president of the Permanent Commission of the Argentine Episcopate, Cardinal Antonio Caggiano, appointed Monsignor Octavio Derisi and the members of the Superior Council and the deans of the Faculties of Law and Social Sciences, Economic Sciences and Philosophy.
On March 14 of that year, the Superior Council met for the first time, chaired by the rector and made up of the councilors Dr. Angel J. Battistessa, Fr. Guillermo Blanco, Dr. Mariano Castex, Dr. Atilio Dell’Oro Maini, Dr. Agustín de Durañona y Vedia, Fr. Luis María Etcheverry Boneo, Master Alberto Ginastera, Dr. Faustino Legón, Dr. Emiliano J. Mac Donagh, Dr. Francisco Valsecchi, Arch. Amancio Williams and Dr. Ricardo Zorraquín Becú.
The inauguration act took place on May 6, 1958 and on July 25 the University Board of Directors was appointed. On September 23, 1959, it was granted legal status through Decree No. 11,911 of the National Executive Power, which civilly approved its statutes. On October 30, 1959, the Minister of Education and Justice visited the Argentine Catholic University to carry out an inspection to verify if the institution complied with the requirements of Law 14,557 and its regulations. Finally, on November 2Minister Mac Kay signed Decree No. 14,397 by which the Argentine Catholic University was officially recognized.
On July 16, 1960, the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities issued the decree by which the Catholic University called Santa María de los Buenos Aires, existing in the Buenos Aires metropolis, was “constituted, erected and declared erected in perpetuity, honoring it with the title of Pontifical. In the same act, the Holy See appointed as great chancellor of the UCA who holds the position of diocesan archbishop of Buenos Aires. For this reason, the Argentine Catholic University is the only Catholic university in the country that holds the pontifical title.
The first headquarters of the UCA was located in the building of the old Apostolic Nunciature at 1227 Riobamba Street in the city of Buenos Aires, which was owned by the Holy See and had previously housed the Argentine Institute of Catholic Culture. Academic activities began there with a number close to 600 students distributed in three faculties: Social and Economic Sciences, Law and Political Sciences and Philosophy.
At that time, the University also had five institutes for research and higher education in certain disciplines, serving as predecessors for the foundation of new faculties. These Institutes were those of Linguistics and Literary Studies (which would later give rise to the Faculty of Letters, predecessor of the current Faculty of Philosophy and Letters), Music (which would later become the current Faculty of Musical Arts and Sciences), Physico-mathematical Sciences and Engineering (which acquired the rank of Faculty that it currently retains), Natural Sciences (predecessor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences) and Theology (currently the Faculty of Theology). In addition, it had two complementary auxiliary bodies:
- School of Economics.
- Law School.
- Faculty of Medical Sciences.
- Faculty of Social Sciences.
- Faculty of Musical Arts and Sciences.
- Faculty of Physico-mathematical Sciences and Engineering.
- Faculty of Philosophy and Letters.
- Faculty of Psychology and Psychopedagogy.
- Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.
- Faculty of Theology.
- Faculty of Canon Law.
- Institute of University
- Pastoral Action Institute.
- Social Commitment and Extension.
- Institute for Marriage and Family.
- Institute for the Integration of Knowledge.
Santa Fe (Rosario)
- Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of Rosario.
- Faculty of Economic Sciences of Rosario.
- Faculty of Chemistry and Engineering “Fray R. Bacon”.
- Faculty of Humanities and Educational Sciences.
- Faculty of Economic and Legal Sciences.
Entre Rios (Parana)
- “Teresa de Avila” Faculty.
Buenos Aires (Parchment)
- Parchment Regional Center.