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Father General Arturo Sosa SJ received the Nihil obstat from the Vatican and appointed Father Ansgar Wucherpfennig SJ Rector of the University of St. Georgen with immediate effect. The University Conference had re-elected Wucherpfennig in February for a third term of office. Sosa is Grand Chancellor of the university and as such appoints the elected rector.

For the appointment the so-called Nihil obstat, the declaration of no objection, was necessary. The Vatican's Congregation for Education has now issued this declaration, after Father Wucherpfennig had issued a declaration in which he emphasized that as a religious and priest he was committed to the authentic teaching office of the Church. Where required by his ministries, he fully and comprehensively explained the Church's teaching on the possibility of ordination of women (Ordinatio sacerdotalis) and of blessings for same-sex couples (letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on pastoral care for homosexual persons). As pastor and scholar he will continue to mark the questions he addresses to this doctrine as his personal interpretation. As a Christian and scientist, he had the personal hope, according to Wucherpfennig, that the ecclesiastical doctrine presented in the two Roman letters would continue to open up and develop further. His public statements on the diaconate of women and on blessings for couples who are unable to marry sacramentally were aimed at such a further development. Wucherpfennig will now publish articles on these two questions and present the results of his research - in faithful and creative continuity with the fundamental doctrines of the Church.

The Provincial of the German Province of the Jesuits, Father Johannes Siebner, SJ, was relieved that the elected Rector of the University could now be appointed and thanked Father Sosa, Superior General, expressly for his commitment. "I am very grateful for the broad support that Fr. Ansgar Wucherpfennig and the University of St. Georgen have received in recent weeks. At the same time he thanked Prof. Thomas Meckel, who had represented Ansgar Wucherpfennig SJ as Prorector since October 1st, on behalf of the Order.

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