Thursday, December 13, 2007

AMU: "Catholic" but ...

A little while back, I mentioned Tom Monaghan has been trying everything he can to get the Roman Catholic diocese of Venice, Florida to officially declare his pet project -- Ave Maria University outside of Naples -- a Catholic one, and the so-far secular oratory a church one.

Word this morning that the Bishop, Frank Dewane, may be prepared to give conditional approval. This would mean Midnight Mass could be celebrated on campus. Just one sticking point: Dewane wants to reserve the right to name a chaplain for the university and more importantly a pastor for "Ave Maria Town" in case the town ever gets big enough to justify a parish. And so far, the new housing starts are well below project.

AveWatch is speculating, and I do too, that since Monaghan would view a chaplain as his employee and not the Church's, he is balking at the offer. So for the time being, AMU remains a secular university pretending to be Catholic; and with its accreditation hanging by a thread.

And the question remains: How can Monaghan demand obedience to the Magesterium when he himself won't do the same? If he refuses to recognize the authority of the regional bishop and instead hires a golf-playing hack priest from Michigan as his "chaplain," isn't he in fact admitting he's not really a Catholic after all?

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