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

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Statement from Professor Charles E. Rice

Charles E. Rice
August 15, 2007

What Monaghan and Dobranski have done and are doing at Ave Maria School of Law [AMSL] is objectively evil and contrary to Catholic social teaching. No good will come of it. In my opinion, Monaghan and Dobranski, without procedural or substantive justification, have taken the livelihoods of honest and competent professors, with large families, whose commitment to AMSL is, in my opinion, greater than that of either Monaghan or Dobranski. The dismissal of the faculty members is part of a process that can fairly be described, in a non-technical and non-criminal sense, as a hijacking of AMSL by Monaghan and Dobranski. Those who signed on with Dobranski to take the jobs of those unjustly discharged are materially cooperating in evil. Perhaps some were impelled by their own economic circumstances. I offer no personal judgment on any of them or on Monaghan and Dobranski. But I would surely advise any interested parties that it makes sense not to have anything to do with any enterprise in which either Monaghan or Dobranski is even slightly involved. The actions of Monaghan and Dobranski may have made AMSL a terminal case. Its potential has been undermined by the subordination of its interests to other interests and by the subservience of its misnamed Board of Governors to that subordination. The Governors who should have performed their fiduciary duty to AMSL are somewhere in the tall grass to which they lit out when choosing time occurred. I emphasize that I offer no judgment on the motivations or purpose of them or of Monaghan and Dobranski. But it is fair to say that their actions and inactions, in objective terms, are reprehensible, immoral and despicable.

Professor Charles E. Rice is Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School. Professor Rice received a B.A. degree from the College of the Holy Cross, a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a LL.M. and J.S.D. from New York University. He served in the Marine Corps and is a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Ret.). Considered an expert on the natural law, Professor Rice has authored numerous books and articles, including Fifty Questions on the Natural Law: What it Is and Why We Need It (Ignatius Press 1993) and Where Did I Come From? Where Am I Going? How Do I Get There?: Straight Answers for Young Catholics (St. Augustine's Press 2006) (co-authored with Theresa Farnan). He is also the host of the EWTN television program, The Good Code: God's Natural Law. Professor Rice is the father of ten children and resides with his wife Mary in Mishawaka, Indiana. You can find here the law school administration's tribute to Professor Rice when he was a professor at Ave Maria School of Law before his teaching position was terminated by the administration.