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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Something that Should Be Investigated

I must confess, in my humble opinion, that all of this talk about Ave Herald, Golisano, etc. is small potatoes in comparison to what should be investigated. I have long thought this, but I was recently reminded of it by a comment by Milos Forman.

In addition to Tom Monaghan, who is the one person who has his finger in every Ave Maria pot? The person who has been with Tom since the mid-'80s; the person who serves as his CFO; the one person who--over the years--seems to have known of all of the personal contracts, over and above the legitimately structured boards of the various entities (isn't he on the "executive committee" of the various Boards or some such thing?); the person who sits on the political entity that runs the town; and the person who sits on the board of the bank (whatever its name is now). In a word, the person who knows where all the proverbial bodies are buried: Mr. Paul Roney.

AveWatch has written a number of things on Mr. Roney. I also began to inquire about him back in 2007. Why is this important? Why does Fumare care? Why, according to our critics, don't we be less critical and more charitable (as if the two are mutually exclusive)? The reason is for what Monaghan and Ave Maria are holding themselves out to be: self-styled leaders in the re-building Catholic culture in the United States. Given the evidence of the various Ave Maria sagas, the shabby treatment of its employees, the obfuscation in releasing pertinent information--even to the entities' Boards--on issues of import (e.g., Dobranski's celebrated contract with the Foundation; the firing of Fessio without some AMU board members' knowledge), one must ask who is at the wheel. We have certainly picked on Tom as we should, but what about his willing accomplice?

Most importantly, why do prominent Catholics lend their names and reputations to this cause without the slightest interest in the morality, legality, and prudence of its inner-workings? Perhaps all is "on the up and up," but given the proclivity of all things Ave Maria to ape the worst aspects of secular business-political-elite culture, I'm not sure that it is.