Saturday, September 01, 2018

Ave Maria and Francis

Hello, readers.  For those of you who keep up on Catholic news, you are no doubt aware of what's been going on with the McCarrick affair followed by the Pennsylvania grand jury report and then the Vigano memorandum and the fallout from each.  There are plenty of Catholic news sites and blogs that are following things with daily updates.  Aside from the Daily Readings in the sidebar, I would like to recommend Rod Dreher at The American Conservative.  He has been on top of things and I have been following him every day.

On August 29, in support of Pope Francis, the president of Ave Maria University James Towey issued a statement that has since been edited to remove its gratuitous comments. (Edited statement, 8/30 clarification.)  This CNA article has excerpts from the original version of the statement, which gives a taste of what was removed, specifically comments directed at Archbishop Vigano's motives and at Cardinal Burke for the dubia.  (Here is a comment that has the original version of the statement.)

Those since-removed comments had provoked a strong backlash.  One example is from the combox at a piece at One Peter Five:

Can you believe it?
This gentleman is drinking the same juice as Wuerl, McCarrick, Cupich, Maradiaga and Tobin – to cite only a few representatives of the core of corruption. His statement is not only erroneous in its essence, but
pejorative and would appear libelous.
Towey served as an assistant to George W. Bush (2002-2006) and as
Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. Dig deep into
that and you find the pragmatist.
As President of St. Vincent’s College, Latrobe – Rembert Weakland’s
home monastic community.
And he is a Knight of Columbus – financial sponsors of “Crux.”
You don’t have to scratch too far to find what is operative with this character. He likes his security blanket.
How did Ave Maria’s search committee determine this one a match?
Another one bites the dust..

I replied with the following:

Don't be confused by the fact that AMU has had this facade of "traditional" all this time and is suddenly breaking away. Ave Maria has always been a brand that Tom Monaghan knew he could sell to Catholics if it looked good and holy. But underneath the surface, there's always been some form of scandal, from how he got AMU from MI to FL to the medical complex they tried to build next to the university funded by a major stem cell researching company.

The reply back:

Believe me, I am confused no longer. This was a bitter eye opener.

My comment wasn't very charitable towards AMU.  I have mentioned the past of AM before in comboxes when the university or the law school have been brought up and alumni have replied, saying that things have changed since Mr. Monaghan's involvement has decreased.  Taking those people at face value and reading Mr. Towey's clarification, it puts Ave Maria in the mainstream of Neo-Catholicism with its strict adherence to the ultramontanist position: fidelity to Rome above all else.  Obviously, Roman Catholics are in communion with Rome, but in the wake of the Council, it has become "Rome, right or wrong," even when the wrong seems to be the enabling of heresy and sexual depravity.

People smarter than I am are wrestling with this question.