The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels has always been a destination for the faithful, but this month it will also start serving as a campus for seminarian and lay students attending the archdiocese’s innovative summer semester of philosophy.Sponsored by the archdiocese’s International Institute of Theological and Tribunal Studies in partnership with the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, the first-ever Summer Philosophy Program at the Cathedral will offer both pontifical and European Union credits as well as potential transfer units to local colleges and universities.

IITTS has been running a Summer Canon Law Program in Los Angeles for four years as part of the process of obtaining the Licentiate in canon law through the Angelicum and now, under the leadership of Archbishop José Gomez, class offerings have expanded to provide pontifically accredited philosophy courses in Los Angeles.

 The courses can be taken for credit toward a philosophy degree through the Angelicum or as electives with potentially transferrable credit to colleges in the U.S. Prospective students are encouraged to explore transfer credit possibilities with educational institutions in which they are currently registered before enrolling in the 2012 summer semester of philosophy program.

“These courses are local initiatives of the ‘New Evangelization’ to which our Holy Father Benedict XVI calls the Catholic community,” said Msgr. Charles Chaffman, IITTS director and archdiocesan judicial vicar.  “In addition, these offerings could be part of a person’s academic life and bring them closer to finishing their university degrees at public, private or Catholic universities.” 

Students planning to pursue a bachelor in philosophy degree through the Angelicum begin their classes in Los Angeles in the summer and later transfer to the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome to complete the six required semesters.

“Our future goal would be to find ways to help students taking elective courses to have a semester abroad in Rome,” said Msgr. Chaffman.

Beginning June 11, two courses will run for three weeks at the Cathedral, including Thomistic Ethics taught Monday-Thursday mornings by LMU professor, Dr. Christopher Kaczor, and Latin I taught Monday-Thursday afternoons by Dr. Alan Vincelette, an American-born Angelicum faculty member.

Starting July 9, two courses will be offered: “Introduction to St. Thomas,” taught Monday-Friday in the mornings for three weeks by Dominican Father Dominic Holtz (also an American-born Angelicum professor); and “Secular and Catholic Philosophies: On Happiness, Love, Marriage and Disputed Questions in Sexual Ethics,” a new class developed by the Angelicum and taught Monday-Friday for two weeks in the afternoons by Kaczor.

Each summer course is 3 credits, based on the ECTS scale (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). Registration for Angelicum extraordinary/guest students taking classes for credit is a $100 one-time fee; tuition for each course is $725. Student auditors not taking classes for credit pay a $15 one-time registration fee and $100 per course. Fees do not include books, photocopying, room and board or parking.

An “Introduction to Greek” course, not accredited through the Angelicum, will be taught by Father John O’Grady, S.T.D., S.S.D., at Christ the King Church in Los Angeles from July 9-21 on Monday-Friday (7-9 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m.-1 p.m.). 

For registration information, visit or call Msgr. Chaffman at (213) 637-7209. Additional information is available at or

{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/0601/benedicts/{/gallery}