This is a very old thread, but maybe, as a religious superior, who graduated from two Pontifical Universities, I can shed some light here.
Pontifical universities belong to the Vatican. They are given over to religious orders or to secular institutes, such as Opus Dei to operate; but they do not own them. The Holy See owns them. Popes expect these schools to support themselves. The Vatican also has very high demands on what has to be paid to a professor at one of its universities. This includes: salary, retirement, medical insurance for him and his family, paid sick leave, paid parenting leave, bereavement leave, social security in those countries where it exists, a cost of living increase and an additional increase for each child they have. They must also get a sabbatical year every fixed number of years and if they have tenure, they must receive a salary during the sabbatical year and their substitute has to be paid.
Above that are the overhead costs to run a school. Pontifical universities, while they are famous for their philosophy and theology schools, do not make their money from those schools. They have the lowest number of students. They have to provide degrees in the sciences and the arts in order to attract paying students. Seminarians, brothers and sisters pay only a percentage of the full tuition. Only diocesan priests pay full tuition, because they are paid a salary like any other secular Catholic.
It is imperative for the university to maintain a census in order to maintain a department or a course. To open a classroom for three paying students, when they can use that classroom for 50 paying students makes no sense and the Holy See will not tolerate such an abuse.
The Gregorian belongs to the Holy See and is under the administration of the Society of Jesus. Father is a Discalced Carmelite Friar. He is giving away what is not his to give. As a friar, he has a solemn vow of poverty. Mendicants and monks make solemn vows of poverty, unlike other religious who make simple vows of poverty. We vow not only not to own anything, but not to have control over anything either unless it is authorized by the Holy See.
In this case, the control of the Gregorian University is in the hands of the Society of Jesus, not the Discalced Carmelite Friars. The Society of Jesus has to answer to the Vatican when it is audited. Father was giving away money that was not his to give without permission.
He had the most charitable intentions and the greatest passion for his subject, but his means was contrary to the meaning of solemn vows made by friars and contrary to the best interest of the university and the Holy See. He is honest enough to admit it.
Therefore, to say that the Church is like any other secular institution that is concerned only about money is to lack a proper understanding of the vows that a friar makes and of justice. One cannot give away what one does not own and a friar solemnly vows never to own anything. Therefore, he has nothing to give away, not even his talents.
In this case, his talents belong to the Gregorian University while he was employed by them. Yes, injustice, when a religious teaches at a university, his religious community is paid for his services. It is not free to the university.
Religious communities have to educate their young and take care of their elderly and their sick like any other family.
Whoever said that there was a time when religious worked for free? Where do you people get this information from, besides Hollywood?
Religious have always worked for less money than secular staff. This is true. For example, in a parish run by religious, the parish may pay two salaries, but the superior assigns six men. The parish has the benefit of six for the price of two. But the religious community still gets paid, even if it has to make a dollar stretch like a rubber band.
Religious work for free when the ministry has no source of income. We never turn down an apostolate to the poor for lack of funds. That’s a whole other subject.
Try not to read too many fiction books or watch too many old movies about priests and religious. Most of them are very misleading, because the writers don’t understand the system and the infrastructure.