Pope appoints ACU Vice-Chancellor to Congregation for Catholic Education

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
27 Sep 2016

Professor Greg Craven

Pope Francis has appointed Australian Catholic University (ACU) Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven as a Consultor to the Holy See's Congregation of Catholic Education - the Vatican dicastery that oversees Catholic schools, universities and institutes of higher education around the world.

In making the appointment, the Holy Father has recognised the considerable leadership, knowledge and experience that Professor Craven brings to the Congregation, particularly in the higher education sector.

President of Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference and Australian Catholic University Ltd, Archbishop Denis Hart said Professor Craven encapsulated the true spirit of the Second Vatican Council and its call for greater lay collaboration in the mission of the Church.

"Greg Craven is an immensely gifted man, a man of faith, a loyal son of Christ; he has given many years of dedicated and faithful service to the advancement of Catholic education in Australia," Archbishop Hart said.

"He has been involved in the university sector for more than 15 years and has lent his wisdom to the Church through service on advisory boards and committees such as the National Catholic Education Commission and the Truth, Justice and Healing Council.

"I am eager to see what he will achieve in this new role."

Professor Craven said this appointment was both a great honour and an outstanding opportunity.

"Catholic universities and schools bring tremendous value to communities and to education."

"Catholic education has a rich intellectual tradition spanning 2,000 years and I look forward to joining a Congregation that draws on the best of rigorous academic and intellectual foundations, and from core Catholic values," Professor Craven said.

ACU's Strathfield Campus

It is not the first time that Professor Craven's contribution to the Catholic Church in Australia has been recognised by Pope Francis.  In December of last year, Professor Craven was appointed to the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great for services to the Catholic Church in Australia, as the highest grade of the Order, as a Knight Grand Cross.  It is one of the Vatican's highest honours which has only been received by six other Australians, including former ACU Chancellor and current Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Before his appointment to ACU, Professor Craven served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategy and Planning) at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia, where he also held the position of Professor of Government and Constitutional Law, having previously served as Executive Director of the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy.

Professor Craven was Foundation Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and Reader in Law at the University of Melbourne. He also served as Crown Counsel to the Victorian Government from 1992-95.

ACU is Australia's largest Catholic university, with campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Ballarat, Adelaide and Rome.

ACU Chancellor The Hon John Fahey AC said the Papal appointment was a great honour that "reflects on the contributions Greg Craven has made to Catholic education in Australia and internationally".