Death of Father Hervé Carrier, S.J.
President of IFCU from 1970-1980
The Jesuit Father Hervé Carrier, who died on 2 August at the age of 92, was a Canadian sociologist of international renown who notably contributed to the development of the Pontificia Università Gregoriana (Rome) where he was Rector from 1966 to 1978 and of our Federation which he presided from 1970 to 1980.
Hervé Carrier added that thinkers should "help modern society's hunger to be more spiritual than the material to which it gives rise." For the President of the Federation, if it was necessary to "redefine the role of Catholic universities in the world," it was to encourage them to "undertake concrete programmes and specific development projects, whose forms are undefined elsewhere ... So, Hervé Carrier during his mandates as head of our Federation, laid emphasis on sectorial activities with the creation of the COCTI (Theology) and a Working Group on Economics. It was under his Presidency that our Centre for Coordination of Research (CCR-FIUC 1975) was created. Indeed Father Carrier wanted to develop, within the Church, a "policy research" emphasizing the role that could be played by Catholic universities in this field. For nearly 40 years, the CCR-IFCU had known about projects or programmes that create the conditions for "policy research" bringing together Catholic universities from every continent on the major challenges facing our society, our universities and the Church.
Father Carrier was a member of the Academy of Arts and Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and an Officer of the Legion of Honour of France, and held numerous honorary doctorates. In addition, Hervé Carrier held the prestigious post of Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, an Agency of the Holy See established by Pope John Paul II in 1982.
On behalf of Catholic academia, and on behalf of its Board of Directors, the International Federation of Catholic Universities wishes to remember in the person of Father Carrier a visionary President who worked all during his life to serve Catholic academia, knowledge and culture throughout the world.
Father Hervé Carrier, S.J. has written several books and numerous essays of great interest to the Catholic university, including the issue of Catholic identity: “the University between commitment and freedom” and “the future role of universities”.
During the decade 1970-1980, his Presidency of the IFCU, Father Hervé Carrier actively pursued structuring collective reflection of our Federation, and that at three levels: regional, national and international. He developed many services and projects already initiated for member universities and the Church itself. He called insistently on leaders of Catholic universities to embark on new paths and to establish a "collective act of courage," reflecting "the responsibility of the university in a world where the majority of our contemporaries live in sub-human conditions. His theoretical exhortation also included elements of a programme of action, beginning with the development of a human and Christian concept of development as envisaged in the Populorum Progressio Encyclical.