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

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Naples News Open Letter Calling For AMU Resignations

AveWatch is reporting on a fascinating open letter that was published in the Naples News. Written by a Catholic who moved to Ave Maria Town because of AMU's professed commitment to Ex Corde Ecclesiae and Catholic orthodoxy, the letter describes how AMU has failed to live up to its Catholic identity and calls for new administration faithful to Church teaching. (Hhmm, sounds familiar.) An excerpt:
Ave Maria University will never achieve serious recognition in Catholic academia, unless it strictly complies, in both words and actions, with Ex Corde Ecclesiae. Since the opening of the new campus here in Ave Maria in August 2007, I have seen the expectations and the morale surrounding AMU deteriorate day by day. The current situation is not only damaging to its distinguished faculty, but also to the future of the university, as well as to the Town of Ave Maria.

In light of the serious issues and questions presented above, as well as in consideration to the faculty, current and prospective students, parents, residents, donors and benefactors, it is incumbent upon the Board of Trustees to take the necessary steps to begin the process of requesting the resignation of the current administration at Ave Maria University, and to seek a new leadership -- leadership that will sincerely and faithfully support and live up to AMU's logo -- Ex Corde Ecclesiae - Veritatis Splendor.
The dispute centers primarily on the liturgical battles occuring at AMU and the tension with the local bishop. This liturgical struggle is one that Ave Maria School of Law never experienced (at least, I never noticed it during my time). But the AMU liturgical struggle seems to be closely related to the AMSL struggles for faculty governance and academic freedom: Monaghan is unwilling to cede less than complete control of his entities to those who have a legitimate right to being involved in the direction of the entities, whether it be to a truly independent Board of Governors and the faculty at AMSL or whether it be to the Catholic Church and local bishop at AMU.

UPDATE: I should add that I have absolutely no knowledge of what is going on at AMU/AMT in Florida besides what I read in the papers, and so I have no idea as to whether the allegations in the open letter are true and whether the demand in the letter is reasonable and justified. Some commenters are saying that the letter bears no resemblance to reality. I defer to those who have better knowledge than I.