Monday, October 10, 2005

Only the AMU Party Head can speak the AMU Party Line

The article linked below is a surprisingly thorough attempt by a liberal paper to understand what is being created in Naples. What I found to be most interesting and disturbing is the gag order prohibiting all students and faculty from openly speaking about the university, as this is reserved solely to the PR department.

From Boston Phoenix article,
City of God, Tom Monaghan's Coming Catholic Utopia

The promotional materials used to market Ave Maria University exude institutional swagger. The students and faculty are "pioneers" who will "win the hearts and minds of a new generation"; the university is "destined to be a mighty work of the Holy Spirit, a bulwark of Catholic truth against the windstorms of secularism and apostasy which seem to overwhelm our nation and our church." But this cocksureness is oddly lacking on an individual level. As he welcomed me into a study group he was leading on Ratzinger’s Spirit of the Liturgy, Fessio urged me to act as a dissenting voice: "Feel free to criticize him," Fessio said, "even though he is the pope." The students’ laughter was reassuring — a sign, perhaps, that their faith could comfortably coexist with the outside world. But later, when I asked two recent graduates to discuss their experience at Ave Maria, they turned to Fessio with stricken looks. He quickly explained that all interviews needed to be arranged through the school’s PR office.]

This policy arose again after Latin Mass one morning, when I asked a middle-aged couple what had brought them to Ave Maria. As the wife began answering, the husband quickly stopped her; what I needed to do, he explained anxiously, was talk to the university spokesman. As it turned out, this wasn’t just a local Catholic couple in search of a traditional service: the man was William Riordan, a theology professor and Ave Maria’s dean of faculty. Vetting questions directed at students is one thing. But it seems odd —and slightly ominous — for a senior faculty member to shy away from freely speaking his mind.


At 8:26 PM, Blogger Torgo said...

You need to turn on the word verification in order to eliminate the spam comments like the one above.

Check out our comments section to see what I'm talking about.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger GenXsurvivor said...

Any sense of what the current AMSOL students think about all this?

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Wolfe Tone said...

I'm guessing that most of them either don't know, or don't understand.


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