Catholic universities could only flourish in liberal social conditions or through loopholes in anti‐liberal conditions. The most famous was the venerable institution of Louvain in Belgium, but Catholic theology faculties operated in state universities in Germany and the Austro‐Hungarian Empire, with Vienna having the greatest drawing power in the German‐speaking lands. In France from the 1870s onwards Catholic universities had to change their name to ‘institutes’, and the Institut Catholique in Paris became a renowned centre of research. In Italy the famous old universities became state institutions, but the old Collegio Romano became the Gregorian University under papal control, but teaching only theology and its associated subjects. Most priests were not educated in theology faculties but in seminaries of widely varying quality.
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