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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Monaghan Backtracks on Ave Maria Town

From WFTV.com:

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Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan, who is helping to bankroll the birth of a southwest Florida town and university, backtracked Friday from comments that he'd like the community to be governed by strict Roman Catholic principles.

His ideas about barring pornography and birth control, he said, apply only to the Catholic university. "There are a lot of misconceptions," Monaghan said Friday.

Both the town of Ave Maria and its Ave Maria University, the first Catholic university to be built in the United States in four decades, are set to open next year about 25 miles east of Naples.

Monaghan's comments Friday contrasted with statements he made last year to a Catholic men's group in Boston that pornographic magazines won't be sold in town, pharmacies won't carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will carry no X-rated channels.

"I would say I just misspoke," Monaghan said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.

"The town will be open to anybody." Monaghan had declined to comment earlier in the week, while his attorneys were reviewing legal issues surrounding his original ideas.

***

The town will not allow adult bookstores or topless clubs.

However, it will merely suggest, not prohibit, businesses from selling adult magazines or contraceptives.

"We are not going to censor any of that information, but in deference to Ave Maria University, we are going to request that they not sell that merchandise but we are not restricting," said Barron Collier CEO Paul Marinelli.

Contraceptives will not be distributed on campus.

"We are trying to create a town with traditional family values and a wholesome environment and that's why we are saying we will not allow adult bookstores, massage parlors or topless bars," Marinelli said. "The misconception we're trying to clarify is that this is not going to be a strictly Catholic town ... I think it would be boring if in fact it was all Catholic." Marinelli said the town would welcome "synagogues as well as Baptist churches."

"We're not going to discriminate against anyone, whether it be religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation," said Barron Collier executive Blake Gable, adding that homosexuals will be welcome despite the church's belief that homosexuality is a sin.

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