The Mission of the Orientale

Created by Pope Benedict XV in 1917, and entrusted to the Society of Jesus in 1922 by Pius XI, the Pontifical Oriental Institute is a school of higher studies that has as its particular mission the service of the Oriental Churches. It is to make known to the churches of the East “the immense richness that … are preserved in the treasure chests of their traditions” (GP II, Orientale Lumen 4) and equally to make known to the Latin West these riches so little explored.

The Mission of the PIO pursues research, teaching, and publishing relating to the traditions of the Eastern Churches in their theology, liturgies, patristics, history, canon law, literature and languages, spirituality, archeology, and questions of ecumenical and geopolitical importance.

In this way, the Church, breathing with two lungs, will respond ever more truly to the prayer of Jesus “that all may be one.”
Orientale Logo


The Vision of the Orientale

The creation of a Modern, 21st-Century University

To serve the Christian East today means that the PIO must become a fully modern university. This will mean opening up to other study centres and universities that deal with the East. It will require renovating and upgrading the physical plant. It will involve more support staff expert in communications and distance learning. The PIO must learn to use its well known resources for a much broader world audience in need.

An Updating of Academic Life to Respond to the Contemporary Christian East

In view of the dramatic changes in the world, and especially in the countries of Eastern Christianity, the PIO will review its course offerings in order to prepare its students for informed, contemporary ministry. New degree programs will be explored along with new pedagogical methods to aid in the formation of students and professors. The PIO must make better known to the West the riches and real issues of the East.

The Intellectual and Spiritual Formation of Students

The PIO will refine its teaching methods and institute tutors to aid students of diverse languages and cultures. It will supply a long absent need for spiritual formation to accompany the intellectual through chaplaincy in the Jesuit tradition. This way the PIO will seek to form the whole person, to educate for critical thinking, and to prepare students for a new evangelization.

The Consortium

The Gregorian Consortium must move into high gear in order to offer its collective best. This will require coordinated departmental planning to enhance specialization and avoid overlap, creation of new degree offerings, and integrating infrastructures, such as, libraries, archives, digitization, and other services.