Saturday, June 23, 2007

“Prayer is more powerful than bullets and faith more powerful than armies.”

-Updated September 11, 2017-

This post was orginally written at the end of the second Bush presidency who I called a crazy king who wanted to destroy his civilization.

In this new post, I replaced Bush with Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops.

They are the new crazy kings who are insanely willing to destroy their civilization.

I, back then, called for prayer and sacrifice because I saw a regime coming that wanted to destroy Christianity in our country.

We did pray and offer sarcifice and the Obama/Clinton regime ended.

Thanks be to God!

Now we need to pray and offer sarcifice so the abortion/homosexual regimes that would destroy Christanity, which Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops appear to be trying to bring back into power, are defeated.

We also need to pray for a Pope and bishops who want to reestablish, unequivocally, a Christian civilization.


This is a hard time for parents. I see the United States and Western culture losing any sense of the mercy of God the Father to bring peace and happiness.

Instead I see not just a loss of faith, not just a lost of a sense of sin, but abortionists as well as homosexuals claiming murder and perversion (a form of slow self-murder by sexual disease) are rights.

They are claiming that these sins are high goods- maybe the highest goods.

If the Democrats and liberals gain power all persons of faith in the God of the Bible will began to live in a Nazi regime that outlaws Christianity.

Like Hitler they claim evil is good.

Christians who want to stop slow self-murder by sexual disease caused by homosexuality or murder of unborn babies must be willing to go to jail for the “hate crime” of saving human life.

Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops seems to want to bring the Democrat and liberal secular regime into power.

They seems like crazy kings who are insanely willing to destroy their country and civilization by bringing immigrants into their country and civilization that want to destroy their country and civilization.

Of course, many of the Latin American immigrants are good Christians, but unfortunately the vast majority unwittingly or wittingly by their votes are destroying the Christian culture of the USA.

They appear to want to bring the anti-Christian regime into power by changing the demographics of the voters of the USA.

If the Latin American immigrants whom President Reagan granted amnesty and the illegal immigrants who followed them into California and the U.S. had voted for pro-life and pro-family candidates, I would be the first in line to say grant amnesty again.

But the vast majority of them have voted like the mayor of Mexico City for abortion and homosexuality. It appears they want their children to be taught abortion and homosexuality in the public schools

It is easy to see that politics will not save us. While we must do what we can to stop the anti-God regime from coming into power by voting and other means, we must not place our trust in politicans.

We must place our trust in God. We need to start praying night and day to God to save us and our children from those who would jail us, kill our children and try to destroy our children and our souls.

We need to remember another time when prayer and sacrifice were needed to stop a great evil. The time of Russian Communism.

Pope Benedict had much to say while still a cardinal about how prayer saved Pope John Paul II and the world from the evil regime of Marxism.

He said that God through the Mother of Jesus saved John Paul from the 13 May 1981 assassins’ bullet and countries from “annihilation’ and the Church from “persecution.”

Pope Benedict XVI said:

“[I]n the end prayer is more powerful than bullets and faith more powerful than armies.”

“The Third Part of the ‘Secret'

“Here it would be appropriate to mention a phrase from the letter which Sister Lucia wrote to the Holy Father on 12 May 1982: “The third part of the ‘secret' refers to Our Lady's words: ‘If not, [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated'”.

In the Via Crucis of an entire century, the figure of the Pope has a special role. In his arduous ascent of the mountain we can undoubtedly see a convergence of different Popes. Beginning from Pius X up to the present Pope, they all shared the sufferings of the century and strove to go forward through all the anguish along the path which leads to the Cross.

In the vision, the Pope too is killed along with the martyrs. When, after the attempted assassination on 13 May 1981, the Holy Father had the text of the third part of the “secret” brought to him, was it not inevitable that he should see in it his own fate? He had been very close to death, and he himself explained his survival in the following words: “... it was a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death” (13 May 1994).

That here “a mother's hand” had deflected the fateful bullet only shows once more that there is no immutable destiny, that faith and prayer are forces which can influence history and that in the end prayer is more powerful than bullets and faith more powerful than armies.”

Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect of the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fred Thompson is "Opposed" to a Constitutional Amendment to Stop the Killing of Unborn Babies

Fred Thompson Record on Abortion Scrutinized

Unofficial GOP candidate Fred Thompson, who according to the latest Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, came in a close second behind the current leader, Rudy Giuliani -- and beat everyone, including Giuliani, among self-described "religious right" voters -- may be in danger of losing supporters because of his record.

In the June 25 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, June 18), Correspondent Holly Bailey reports that the charismatic and down to earth potential GOP candidate has avoided the kind of scrutiny his rivals have faced. But as he prepares to become an official candidate, his record in Washington will be given a closer look, and conservative voters disappointed to find that Thompson has been on the other side of some of their most important issues, including abortion and campaign fund-raising.

Combing through Thompson's archive, Newsweek found several files on his campaign strategy on abortion that could roil his 2008 bid. On a 1994 Eagle Forum survey, Thompson said he opposed criminalizing abortion. Two years later, on a Christian Coalition questionnaire, he checked "opposed" to a proposed constitutional amendment protecting the sanctity of human life. In a campaign policy statement filed in the archives, he also said he believes "the decision to have an early term abortion is a moral issue and should not be a legal one subject to the dictates of the government." During an interview with the Conservative Spectator, a Tennessee newspaper, he claimed to be pro-life but also said that, "The ultimate decision on abortion should be left with the woman and not the government."

Thompson drew the ire of his party in 1997 when he was appointed to lead hearings into Democratic fund-raising abuses in the 1996 campaign, and then broadened his investigation to look into alleged abuses by Republicans as well. This probe left him on the outs with GOP heavyweights and it is still unclear whether his public efforts to make amends will be accepted or backfire.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Do Mexicans Want to become US Citizens?

Many Mexican citizens hold the view below.

"This guy doesn't. He thinks our political system sucks and that our politicians are as crooked as anyone they have back in Mexico. He thinks America is racist and fascist, and that its people have low morals and shifting standards. He's been driving around without a license or insurance for nearly a decade, and he says that even if he were magically granted citizenship tomorrow, he wouldn't change a thing. He thinks that licenses and insurance are just part of a government scam to take his hard-earned money.”

About the only thing he likes about this place is his hard-earned money that he gets from working construction jobs."

I spoke with a friend of mine who is here from Mexico on a green card. He agreed with me that making mass citizens is not a good idea. He thought a guest worker program was better. If someone wants to be a citizen they should individually apply.




Anyone who supports a guest-worker program needs to look at the beneficiaries


Well, Memorial Day has come and gone, and I'm shocked--shocked, I say!--to report that the United States Senate did not debate, hammer out and then pass the "comprehensive immigration bill," as Arizona Republican senator and chief bill-backer Jon Kyl had hoped the deliberative body would.

The way the storm clouds are gathering, I'd say that it's iffy that anything will be done by the Fourth of July, and maybe only 50-50 by Labor Day, what with the traditional all-of-August vacation factored in. That would make the autumn very interesting, because there's no way this thing will be allowed to seep into an election year, especially one that will essentially be in full gear by this Thanksgiving. The naysayers on all sides (there are certainly more than two sides to this issue) have dug in their heels and are all pretty much heaping scorn on the bill, its origins and its backers. Some people in Arizona won't even look at the bill, because Kyl had the gall to sit down and talk to the Antichrist from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy.

I will never support the Kyl-Kennedy Kompromise (KKK), because it includes a provision for a Bracero program. Anybody who thinks that the use (and misuse) of "guest workers" is a good idea needs to shut up and go back to his job of counting Daddy's millions, which were probably made by exploiting cheap labor in the first place. Everybody should be against this abomination, especially labor unions, which are still reeling from bowing down to Bill Clinton's NAFTA nonsense in the '90s and need to take a stand for the working person before they become the irrelevant organizations that detractors have long been trying to paint them as.

Over the past week, I've been asking one of those questions to which I can never get a decent answer: Exactly how many people should be allowed into this country each year? Those on the Minutemen end of the spectrum admit that, traditionally, "some" people should be allowed into the United States each year, but only on a strictly legal basis. Meanwhile, even the most la-la people on the other end, those out setting up lemonade stands on the "Migrant Trail," will begrudgingly agree that, in these dangerous times, there must be some accounting of the comings and goings along the border.

For me, the frustration comes from the Pushme-Pullyou nature of the whole mess. I'm an absolutist by nature. I never smoke, never drink and eat way too much. We should either close the border or open it all the way; I don't really care which. I'm not afraid of terrorists coming in; they're already here. Neither do I believe that it would be impossible to close the border. Americans can do anything.

What we've got to stop doing is leaving the fate of people's lives up to whether they get lucky enough to sign on with the least-unscrupulous coyote. We've got to decide whether we are, indeed, a nation of laws, and, if so, start acting accordingly. If there's a law on the books, enforce it. If a majority doesn't want it enforced, take it off the books. Don't be selective; it generates cynicism.

Then there's another matter. A few months ago, I met a guy who has been in this country, illegally, most of his 24 years. He graduated from high school here, works here, lives here. But his life raises one of those questions that nobody involved with this immigration bill wants to ask: What if, after all the hoops for people to jump through in order to gain U.S. citizenship have been put in place, people don't want to become citizens?

This guy doesn't. He thinks our political system sucks and that our politicians are as crooked as anyone they have back in Mexico. He thinks America is racist and fascist, and that its people have low morals and shifting standards. He's been driving around without a license or insurance for nearly a decade, and he says that even if he were magically granted citizenship tomorrow, he wouldn't change a thing. He thinks that licenses and insurance are just part of a government scam to take his hard-earned money.

About the only thing he likes about this place is his hard-earned money that he gets from working construction jobs. That, and hanging with his boys, many of whom, he claims, agree with his views on citizenship. In a way, it makes sense. Guys who sign up with Blackwater to work in Iraq for a year for $135,000 probably never once entertain the thought of applying for Iraqi citizenship. I know guys who play baseball in Mexico; not one wants to become a citizen. Likewise for Americans who work in England or Canada. Many people want to remain what they are. Isn't it somewhat presumptuous to believe that everybody wants to become a U.S. citizen?

Longtime activist Isabel Garcia views it as an economic problem to which people are attempting to apply political solutions. She asks people to figure out who is benefiting from the status quo. All I know is that those who are making out like bandits now will continue to prosper under a plan that gives them access to hundreds of thousands of permanent-underclass Braceros.

Hey, maybe Kyl didn't sell out his true constituency after all.


"Violence in northern Mexico is not stopping at the [USA]border"

According to the Inside Tucson Business "[v]iolence in northern Mexico is not stopping at the [USA]border." And the"[t]he only action we see is toward integrating Mexico into the U.S. and Canada." This is the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) to make a United States of North America.


War is coming to Tucson

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2007 - 02:19:33 pm MDT

You are not going to like what I have to say today. But it must be said, out loud. People are whispering about it now, but if we don’t face up to it, it will only get worse.

The violent incident in Cananea, Sonora, has hit the consciousness of Tucson squarely between the eyes. Northern Mexico is in a state of war. Who is fighting? That’s hard to say. Officially, it is the drug- and people-traffickers against each other and the government. But in Mexico, you can’t tell the players even with a program. You cannot assume the police or the Army are loyal to their commands. Many are working on their own.

In case you were out of town two weeks ago, about 50 armed men drove into Cananea and killed five policemen and two other residents. The men fled into the hills with police and soldiers in pursuit. In subsequent gunfights, 16 more were killed.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel announcement saying narcotics-related “violence by criminal elements affects many parts of the country.”

It is not too much to say there is a war going on right across the border. It’s not a hot war with firefights all the time. It is not a cold war, either, with posturing and press releases. Let’s call it a warm war. Violence breaks out from time to time for reasons unknown to us, but completely unpredictable.

And here’s the part you don’t want to hear. Violence has spread across the border and has resulted in several deaths of Americans residents and visitors. Most such crimes are reported as isolated incidents. But the violence in northern Mexico is not stopping at the border. It’s headed this way and a lot of Tucsonans know it.

It is crossing the border because there is little to stop it. The Border Patrol is in virtual rebellion against its supervisors. They have felt betrayed by prosecution of some of them for what they see as doing their job. Union Local 2544 of the Border Patrol has published its position of “no confidence” in supervisory and command personnel. They have called a meeting (members only) for June 13 to consider their options.

You can’t learn about it in most media, but the whispers around town are people saying they are thinking of getting out. It looks like war and it’s coming here. No government has acted to protect Americans living in Southern Arizona. Our federal government is in full collapse as far as the southern border is concerned. All we get from them is talk. The only action we see is toward integrating Mexico into the U.S. and Canada.

What will it mean when the border is actually abandoned and anybody is free to enter without inspection? It will mean that Southern Arizona, specifically Tucson, could become like Cananea and other parts of northern Mexico. Violence will overtake local police. State and federal authorities will look the other way.

Our local news media talks about growth and how we must plan for. But these events will make those plans meaningless. When Tucsonans have to risk their lives to go to work or shopping, this city will empty out. Adequate water supplies will be the least of our problems.

The federal government should put troops on the border to defend the United States and its citizens. The troops should be given orders to use as much force as necessary to accomplish that task. No soldiers should be detailed to do paperwork and forbidden to fire on violators. This is another war and if we don’t act like it, we will lose this one too.

This war isn’t on the other side of the world. This is for our homes, our homes, our homes.

But the feds do nothing. What is happening is according to their plan. Drop in on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America’s website n n and read the plans. Watch discussion of the so-called immigration reform bill, which contains legislation advancing the integration of North America. It’s happening whether you like it or not. And Tucson is on the front lines.

Contact Lionel Waxman at Waxman’s Flashpoint commentaries are published in The Daily Territorial.

© 2007 Inside Tucson Business. All Rights Reserved

Are the Illegal Immigration, Abortion and Homosexual Agenda Created by Monopoly?

Are the Illegal Immigration, Abortion and Homosexual Agenda Created by Monopoly?

Monopolies and thier Socialist friends are behind the recent push for abortion and homosexual "rights" in Mexico. (We know that Bill Gates and other monopolist are behind the US illegal immigration, abortion and homosexual agenda.)

They are a big reason why there are a shrinking middle class and a shrinking living income for the poor. Poor Mexicans who can’t survive in Mexico are forced to come to the US, which is causing the illegal immigration problems.

Political science Professor Denise Dresser, who teaches political science at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) says:

"Mexico has a dense, intricate web of connections and personal ties between the government and the business class. This ends up creating a government that doesn't defend the public interest that isn't willing to go out and regulate in the name of the consumer," she says. "But it is rather willing to help its friends, its allies and, in some cases, its business partners thrive at the expense of the Mexican people."

Unfortunately, this is what is happening in the US.

If we don’t want Socialism, we need to fight for fair wages in the US and Mexico as well as the break up of monopolies. They are destroying democracy and a fair free market system.


The World's Richest People
Slim's Chance
Helen Coster 03.26.07

Carlos Slim Helu

Carlos Slim Helu's fortune is up almost $20 billion in a year, built amid poverty and resentment in Mexico. Now he's gaining on Warren Buffett.
Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, the industrial titan whose holdings span telecom, banking, energy, tobacco and more, has built unimaginable wealth in one of the poorer countries in the Western Hemisphere. In the past year his fortune, now approaching $50 billion, has grown by $19 billion, an increase that eclipses any gain by any other billionaire in the past decade. He reigns as the third-richest person in the world on the 21st annual FORBES billionaires list. Slim (both his family surname and his nickname) is tantalizingly close to surpassing the wealth of the storied Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL - news - people ) of Omaha, Warren Buffett, the sage investor who has been number two to his protégé and pal, Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people )'s Bill Gates, since 2001 .

Slim, 67, amassed his pile in a nation where per capita income is less than $6,800 a year and half the population lives in poverty. His wealth comes to 6.3% of Mexico's annual economic output; if Gates had a similar chunk in the U.S., he'd be worth $784 billion. It's enough to give any populist heartburn.

In Hong Kong, perhaps, or even Finland, Slim would be heralded as a striving champion of capitalism, a self-made billionaire celebrated for employing 218,000 workers and for pushing his country into the modern age. But not in Mexico, where the media and the masses long have held a sneaking suspicion that there is something shady about Slim. He is decried as a rapacious monopolist who built his empire on cozy ties to Mexican presidents and other politicians.

Last year a cartoon in La Reforma, a center-right newspaper, depicted an oversize Slim in a boxing ring, splayed on his back and squashing a tiny opponent. The ring ropes were phone lines, an allusion to Slim's control of Telmex, with a 90% share of the landline phone business, and América Móvil, with a 73% share of the market for cell phone service. The caption: "Billion Dollar Baby." Slim has been pilloried on TV in La Verdad Sea Dicha ("Truth Be Told" ), a political-platform show from a defeated opposition-party candidate for president who had befriended, then betrayed Slim. In one segment a news anchor angrily shoves a pie into the mouth of a papier maché Slim, mocking him as a gluttonous, insatiable tyrant. Never mind that, in 40 years of business in Mexico, Slim isn't known ever to have been formally investigated, indicted, convicted or otherwise sullied in regard to bribery, influence peddling or any other scandal. For some in the working class here--the random cab driver, small-time actor, bellhop--Slim's fat-cat wealth is reason enough for suspicion.

As the best-known patriarch among the ruling families that dominate the Mexican economy, he draws the most fire for the distinctly Mexican form of crony capitalism that pervades the national economy. The cement industry is largely controlled by one player--Cemex (nyse: CX - news - people )--and its billionaire chief, Lorenzo Zambrano. Mexico has two national television networks, run by the country's ruling elite--TV Azteca, run by Ricardo Salinas Pliego; and Grupo Televisa (nyse: TV - news - people ), controlled by Emilio Azcárraga Jean, favorite son of the Azcárraga clan. Even tortillas are a monopoly market, controlled by the González Barrera family's Gruma, which has a 71% share of sales. In January people protested in the streets of Mexico City after tortilla prices doubled.

"Mexico has a dense, intricate web of connections and personal ties between the government and the business class," says Denise Dresser, a Slim basher who teaches political science at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). "This ends up creating a government that doesn't defend the public interest, that isn't willing to go out and regulate in the name of the consumer," she says. "But it is rather willing to help its friends, its allies and, in some cases, its business partners thrive at the expense of the Mexican people."

Slim insists he is unfazed by the criticism. "When you live for others' opinions, you are dead. I don't want to live thinking about how I'll be remembered." At one point in a three-hour interview in his yawning, unadorned office in a three-story building in a tony enclave in Mexico City, he produces prepared talking points to rebut the notion that he is a monopolist. Sample page: "There are actually 44 concessions that offer long distance, 26 for local service and 10 for mobile service.… Telmex is not a company that has monopolistic practices."

Does he protest too much? Some people who know him well say Slim stings from the carping--and that he intends to do something about it. "He's like everyone else. He doesn't like to be criticized. He's a sensitive person who wants to do the right thing," says AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ) Chairman Edward E. Whitacre Jr., who has known Slim since buying a 10% stake in Telmex in 1990 (the $1 billion investment turned into more than $10 billion). "I think he wants to be remembered as someone who did something good for his fellow man," Whitacre says.

Lately Carlos Slim has taken up a particular interest in philanthropy, a pursuit he had neglected for most of the years he was building his businesses. He formed a foundation 23 years ago and funded it with a few million, and it has done little since then. A year ago Slim infused it with $1.8 billion; in the fall he pledged to donate up to $10 billion to the foundation in the next four years to fund health and education programs.

"My new job is to focus on the development and employment of Latin America," he says proudly. Yet even his philanthropic ambitions are greeted with wariness, or outright derision, by some in Slim's home country. ITAM professor Dresser goaded him in a newsweekly commentary for failing to give even more: "The day that you give 80% of your personal fortune to an unselfish cause is the day that I will become your champion." Michael Layton, director of the Philanthropy & Civil Society Project at ITAM, explains: "In Mexico, the perception is that public deeds are done for personal gain."

Latin America Billionaires

Page 1 Page 2
Rank Name Citizenship Age Net Worth ($bil) Residence
3 Carlos Slim Helu Mexico 67 49.0 Mexico
119 Anacleto Angelini Chile 93 6.0 Chile
119 Gustavo Cisneros & family Venezuela 61 6.0 Venezuela
119 Lorenzo Mendoza & family Venezuela 41 6.0 Venezuela
119 Joseph Safra Brazil 68 6.0 Brazil
132 Julio Mario Santo Domingo Colombia 83 5.7 Colombia
137 Eliodoro Matte & family Chile 61 5.6 Chile
158 Alberto Bailleres Mexico 74 5.0 Mexico
165 Jorge Paulo Lemann Brazil 67 4.9 Brazil
167 Luis Carlos Sarmiento Colombia 74 4.7 Colombia
172 Ricardo Salinas Pliego Mexico 51 4.6 Mexico
194 Jeronimo Arango Mexico 81 4.3 Mexico
214 Aloysio de Andrade Faria Brazil 86 4.0 Brazil
226 Antonio Ermirio de Moraes & family Brazil 78 3.9 Brazil
314 Moise Safra Brazil 72 2.9 Brazil
432 Marcel Herrmann Telles Brazil 57 2.2 Brazil
458 Emilio Azcarraga Jean Mexico 39 2.1 Mexico
488 Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala & family Mexico 43 2.0 Mexico
488 Roberto Hernandez Ramirez Mexico 65 2.0 Mexico
488 Rubens Ometto Silveira Mello Brazil NA 2.0 Brazil
488 Carlos Alberto Sicupira Brazil 59 2.0 Brazil
538 Julio Bozano Brazil 71 1.9 Brazil
538 Abilio dos Santos Diniz Brazil 70 1.9 Brazil
557 Isaac Saba Raffoul & family Mexico 83 1.8 Mexico
557 Dorothéa Steinbruch & family Brazil NA 1.8 Brazil

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Gay Marriage is a Socialist experiment

Friday, June 15, 2007

Gay Marriage is a Socialist experiment

Socialists have historically understood that in order to implement total government, which is what socialism is, institutions that foster freedom and individual independence would have to be weakened. Total government is, after all, against human nature, which is inclined toward individual rights, private ownership, belief in a divine creator, and the sovereignty of nation-states designed to preserve, protect, and defend those natural rights.

Besides belief in God, private property, and private industry, the basic family unit is a bulwark of freedom and, therefore, an obstacle to socialism. Developed over millennia, conventional marriage has been universally respected as an essential institution. Marriage represents the most formidable obstacle to government control.

Hence, the totalitarian minded socialist figured out how to undermine marriage. Overt as well as subtle attempts have been undertaken over centuries to undermine marriage and gay marriage is only the most recent effort. Since two men or two women cannot actually be married, legal recognition of gay marriage should be viewed as a manufactured straw dog invented to weaken and ultimately destroy the natural and freedom fostering institution of marriage. As recently as seven years ago, gay marriage was unheard of.

The pro gay marriage advocates sold the idea of state recognized gay marriage to the general public by arguing that gay couples were being deprived of certain marriage benefits such as inheritance rights, health insurance, and hospital visits. Yet many of these issues have been rightfully resolved by private sector social pressure on business and by could be resolved by state legislation. State recognition of gay marriage actually discriminates against other alternative families who could also argue that they should receive these benefits. The states, and the private sector, do not have to recognize a gay relationship in order to provide benefits that should, at any rate, be made available to alternative families especially when minor dependents are involved.

Committed relationships for homosexuals should be encouraged and these relationships have generally not viewed as controversial. Especially gay men are well served to find a life partner and, therefore, reduce promiscuous behavior which increase exposure to disease and violence. A stable gay relationship, with many of the trappings of traditional marriage, is a conservative development, which should be encouraged for homosexuals. The controversy is not over the committed relationship between homosexuals but rather with the insistence that the relationship be turned into a state recognized marriage.

Legal gay marriage will mean that the gay marriage will be legally equal to conventional marriage. This opens the door to conflict with people and organized religions that consider homosexual activity to be immoral. Neither side in this thorny debate should have a right to impose its belief on the other by using the force of law. Our society should encourage tolerance of differences and respect for opposing views without resorting to laws that would banish the opposition. Legally recognized gay marriage will lead to government outlawing opinion as has already happened in Canada. The trend is already underway as “hate crime” legislation is being debated in Congress.

There was no way gay marriage would lose in Massachusetts, which is why there will never be a vote on the issue. Now that gay marriage will be legal in Massachusetts, it will be interesting to see how swiftly state schools move toward teaching young people about homosexuality in the name of tolerance, how rapidly political crimes are established in the name of safety, and how soon the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton, which allowed the respective states to craft their own marriage legislation, is challenged. Now that it’s legal in Massachusetts, gay marriage will not likely to fade into the distance, which is what would likely happen if left to its own devices. Instead, we can expect to see more agitation. This should be as much proof as is needed to conclude that the issue is no actually gay marriage but, rather, a socialist agenda.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fred Thompson Is NOT Pro-Life

From: Columbia Christians for Life
Subject: Fred Thompson is NOT Pro-Life


Fred Thompson came close to alarming his pro-life constituency for his prospective
Republican presidential candidacy on Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" program Tuesday
when he expressed doubts about "criminalizing" abortion.

After asserting he "always thought Roe v. Wade was a wrong decision," the actor-politician
said: "I would not be and never have been for a law that says, on the state level, if I were
back in Tennessee voting on this, for example, that, if they chose to criminalize a young woman, and ­ ." Co-host Sean Hannity then interrupted: "So, states rights for you?" Thompson replied: "Essentially, federalism. It's in the Constitution."

Although Thompson in his first Senate campaign in 1994 said the decision to have an
abortion "must be made by the woman," he built a solid pro-life voting record during eight
Senate years that has generated presidential support for him among social conservatives.


Robert D. Novak - Inside Report

McCain Without Money

WASHINGTON ­ George W. Bush's 2004 campaign fund-raisers and contributors are being
bombarded with appeals for money by Sen. John McCain's heavy-spending, money-short
2008 campaign.

McCain is concentrating heavily on the rich target of lawyers and lobbyists in Washington, D.C.
They have been invited to multiple McCain fund-raising events held in the nation's capital,
currently a $1,000-a-ticket reception June 26 at the Capitol Hill Club with a potential
"event co-chair" asked to raise $50,000. A large percentage of the Bush fund-raising team
remains uncommitted, a signal that the Republican establishment is not satisfied with
the present field seeking the party's nomination.

McCain's money-raisers are hard put to reach the $10 million goal set for the second quarter
of 2008 by the June 30 deadline, after collecting $12 million in the first quarter. McCain raised
$2 million in April and $3 million in May, and is expected to reach $2-3 million in June ­ falling
short of the $10 million goal and of what his opponents have raised.


Washington super-lobbyist Ed Gillespie is prepared to step aside as state Republican chairman
of Virginia after only six months if asked to join President Bush's senior staff as director of communications holding the Cabinet-rank of counselor.

Dan Bartlett, brought from Texas by Bush in 2001, has announced his resignation from the communications slot. There has been speculation about the difficulty of finding anyone to
enter a White House under attack.

Gillespie, Republican National chairman during the 2004 Bush re-election, took the Virginia party position last December after a succession of Democratic statewide victories. However, friends of Gillespie say he feels it would be his patriotic duty to accept the White House post if offered.


Fred Thompson came close to alarming his pro-life constituency for his prospective
Republican presidential candidacy on Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" program Tuesday
when he expressed doubts about "criminalizing" abortion.

After asserting he "always thought Roe v. Wade was a wrong decision," the actor-politician
said: "I would not be and never have been for a law that says, on the state level, if I were
back in Tennessee voting on this, for example, that, if they chose to criminalize a young woman, and ­ ." Co-host Sean Hannity then interrupted: "So, states rights for you?" Thompson replied: "Essentially, federalism. It's in the Constitution."

Although Thompson in his first Senate campaign in 1994 said the decision to have an
abortion "must be made by the woman," he built a solid pro-life voting record during eight
Senate years that has generated presidential support for him among social conservatives.


Veteran California Republican political operative Ken Khachigian, a speechwriter for Presidents
Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, has signed on with Fred Thompson's prospective Republican presidential candidacy.

Khachigian supported Sen. John McCain in 2000 but has not been a part of his 2008 effort.
As a Nixon aide, Khachigian worked closely with Thompson in 1974 when he was Republican
counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee.

A footnote: Tim Griffin, an expert at opposition research who performed that function at the
Republican National Committee for the 2004 election, is being asked to join the Thompson
campaign. Griffin served briefly as U.S. attorney in Little Rock, Ark., this year but stepped down
amid controversy over President Bush's appointments of new federal prosecutors.


Billionaire supermarket investor Ron Burkle, conservative publisher Rupert Murdoch's potential competitor to purchase The Wall Street Journal and its parent Dow Jones and Co., is a close
friend of Bill Clinton and a generous contributor to Democrats.

In the first quarter this year, Burkle gave $50,000 to Democratic congressional campaign
committees ­ $25,000 to the House and $25,000 to the Senate. Burkle has contributed
$1.5 million to politics during his lifetime, with 98 percent going to Democrats.

The main union of Dow Jones employees enlisted Burkle to block Murdoch's bid for their company.

To find out more about Robert D. Novak and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate
web page at


Originally Published on Saturday June 09, 2007

Robert Novak writes Inside Report three times each week.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Does Trent Lott Want to End Free Speech?

Trent Lott said "Talk radio is running the country. We're going to have to deal with that problem." Is he going to deal with it by ending free speech?

Rather you support the immigration bill or not, do you really want to end free speech and democracy. If 80% of the American people do not support the bill, it is time to go back to the blackboard.

What Do We Do About Trent Lott?

June 15, 2007


RUSH: What are we going to do about Mississippi Senator Trent Lott? What are we going to do about Senator Lott? You remember when he got into trouble with the Strom Thurmond comment? We're out there defending the guy. The White House threw him overboard. All kinds of Republicans were throwing him overboard. Talk radio came to his defense. Trent Lott is now one of the engineers of the Senate immigration bill, the amnesty bill, and they're trying to bring this thing back. The amendments are being kept under wraps. By the way, I understand Lindsey Grahamnesty, senator from South Carolina, is going to propose an amendment to build the border fence. (Laughing.) $4.4 billion! The government spends that much on rubber bands every year. Well, maybe not that much, but you get the point. Senator Lott is out there saying, "The problem with this is talk radio, and it's a problem that's going to have be dealt with." Now, what does that mean? When I hear a United States senator say that what I do for a living is a "problem" that the government has to "deal with," you can interpret it any number of ways. He's either saying, "Well, we're going to have to come up with our own ways to overcome them," or, "We're going to just have to wipe them out." What does it mean? The real question is: How are we going to deal with Trent Lott? What are we going to do about him?


RUSH: I want to spend a little time here on Trent Lott's comment that talk radio is running the country. What is talk radio? Talk radio is the greatest democratic forum in the country today. It is truly diverse. There are more ideas, there's more back and forth, there's more so-called diversity. There are all kinds of great things to say about it. Talk radio is the American voter. I bet most of the people who listen to talk radio are voters. That's what bothers Trent Lott. Well, who should be running the country? I don't mean making the day-to-day decisions, but go look at our founding documents, and all that jibber-jabba about governing with the consent of the governed. This is a battle between Washington and the people now. This amnesty bill, when you strip away all of the extraneous stuff this is a battle between Washington and the people, and they know it. So you got a Republican talking about talk radio the way liberals talk about talk radio, which tells you (it tells me) what the real objective of most elected officials in Washington is anyway. It's to perpetuate themselves and their jobs and to spend money and maybe not -- well, yes. It would be in that order. The reason talk radio is "running the country" is because the people who are voters in this country are listening and involved and are passionate. Talk radio may be informing you, but it's not making you a robot, and you're taking action on your own, and these blowhards in Washington are hearing from you, the American people, and that's what bothers them -- and we are being blamed for you being informed, and that should tell you something.


RUSH: Trent Lott: "Talk radio is running the country. We're going to have to deal with that problem," he said. You need to really think about that. Well what is he talking about? The people that he's actually complaining and whining about now are the ones that tried to defend him when everybody else was throwing him overboard when he made those joking comments at a tribute to Strom Thurmond. Folks, I want you to think of something. The notion that people freely expressing their opinions on radio is a "problem," should scare every one of us that loves liberty. The notion that people freely expressing their opinions in e-mails and phone calls to their elected representatives is a problem should scare every single person who loves liberty. This is the exact sort of thing -- people expressing their opinions is a problem -- that gave us McCain-Feingold, a government signed, government passed and the president signed assault on free speech, the First Amendment, during campaigns. Trent Lott is a Republican. He has thrown his hat in with John McCain on this because McCain defended him, too, during that episode.

You know, I was kind of surprised because Lott loves to stick it to President Bush any time he can because of the White House lack of support for Lott during the Strom Thurmond thing. So the bottom line here is that this is frightening stuff. I mean, it's one thing to hear it from liberals and Democrats. We hear this from them all the time. But the idea that a Republican now joins this mind-set -- and believe me, I don't actually think he's the only one. You're good little voters when you sit out there and just shut up. Show up on Election Day. Send your money in. Send in your donations. But you're getting uppity out there, folks, when you start telling them how to do their jobs. By the way, the latest Rasmussen poll -- they're still going to try to bring this thing back -- 20% of the American people support the bill. Only 20% want this. Pure and simple, it's only 20%. "They prefer smaller steps," this is a Rasmussen poll, "with the focus on enforcement." They're working overtime to bring this back and get it done. Oh, you gotta listen to Dingy Harry here. This was this morning on the Senate floor. Listen to this.

REID: I also want to indicate to all senators and staffs, it's Friday, and now I understand, Mr. President, we have indicated we might have to work weekends, and I know this causes a lot of distress to folks. But everyone should know that to complete this bill and to complete the immigration bill will require next weekend, without any question, next weekend, Saturday and Sunday.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Gay Mafia's Dream Come True: "Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'"

Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'
cbs 5 ^ | Jun 8, 2007 | Hank Plante

Posted on 06/09/2007 12:24:06 PM PDT by rface

A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsquently rejected, building the so-called "Gay Bomb."

Edward Hammond, of Berkeley's Sunshine Project, had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.

As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."

The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon.

"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soliders to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another," Hammond said after reviwing the documents.

"The notion was that a chemical that would probably be pleasant in the human body in low quantities could be identified, and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical, the notion was that soliders would become gay," explained Hammond.

The Pentagon told CBS 5 that the proposal was made by the Air Force in 1994.

"The Department of Defense is committed to identifying, researching and developing non-lethal weapons that will support our men and women in uniform," said a DOD spokesperson, who indicated that the "gay bomb" idea was quickly dismissed.

However, Hammond said the government records he obtained suggest the military gave the plan much stronger consideration than it has acknowledged.

"The truth of the matter is it would have never come to my attention if it was dismissed at the time it was proposed," he said. "In fact, the Pentagon has used it repeatedly and subsequently in an effort to promote non-lethal weapons, and in fact they submitted it to the highest scientific review body in the country for them to consider."

Military officials insisted Friday to CBS 5 that they are not currently working on any such idea and that the past plan was abandoned.

Gay community leaders in California said Friday that they found the notion of a "gay bomb" both offensive and almost laughable at the same time.

"Throughout history we have had so many brave men and women who are gay and lesbian serving the military with distinction," said Geoff Kors of Equality California. "So, it's just offensive that they think by turning people gay that the other military would be incapable of doing their job. And its absurd because there's so much medical data that shows that sexual orientation is immutable and cannot be changed."

TOPICS: Conspiracy; Weird Stuff; Click to Add Topic
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda; Click to Add Keyword

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so ...... do News Orgs. recycle old stories that they think didn't get enough attention and deserve more outrage? Yes they year ago....

1 posted on 06/09/2007 12:24:10 PM PDT by rface
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To: rface
Wow... who knew that Pink Kryptonite was real?

2 posted on 06/09/2007 12:26:05 PM PDT by pnh102
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To: rface
Obviously San Francisco is where they tested this device.

3 posted on 06/09/2007 12:26:44 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: rface
Wow, first a firebomb, now a flamebomb... do they drop them from a B-52 bummer?

4 posted on 06/09/2007 12:27:39 PM PDT by Bon mots
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To: rface
Thothe Thavageth.

I hate those convoluted breeder plots

5 posted on 06/09/2007 12:28:49 PM PDT by MrEdd (L. Ron Gore creator of "Fry-n-tology" the global warming religion.)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator


To: rface
I have a better theory... spray them with estrogen.

7 posted on 06/09/2007 12:31:39 PM PDT by BigFinn
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To: rface
LOL! Whats next, a “conservative” bomb? Turns every right wing overnight?

8 posted on 06/09/2007 12:33:18 PM PDT by cardinal4
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To: rface
“and make them more interested in sex than fighting.” ............. Like the heterosexuals are now???

9 posted on 06/09/2007 12:33:50 PM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (Time to get your election bumper sticker ready. "Impeach Hillary 09".)
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To: All
I prefer lethal weapons. Why let the enemy live to fight another day? Of course, collateral damage is less of a political weapon if you are just making interior decorators and exceptional florists out of the innocent. Then again, I would rather that somebody killed me outright than turn me into a queer.

10 posted on 06/09/2007 12:36:21 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (America: Land of the Free Because of the Brave)
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To: cardinal4
Ah! Early in the first term of the Administration that gave us ‘don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Some kind of Freudian Slip maybe. Naw, probably not.

11 posted on 06/09/2007 12:36:38 PM PDT by K-oneTexas (I'm not a judge and there ain't enough of me to be a jury. (Zell Miller, A National Party No More))
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To: Bon mots do they drop them from a B-52 bummer?
Or the Enola Super Gay...

12 posted on 06/09/2007 12:39:30 PM PDT by M203M4 (Vote Fruity Giuliani or the terrists will win! Abortion & gun control = price for freedumb!)
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To: rface
>a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals

"Clark, would LuthorCorp
spend millions to turn guys gay?
Although, you know, Clark,

you and I haven't
really sat down for dinner
for a few seasons..."

13 posted on 06/09/2007 12:43:43 PM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: M203M4
Sorry, make that 'Enola Thuper Gay'

14 posted on 06/09/2007 12:44:29 PM PDT by M203M4 (Vote Fruity Giuliani or the terrists will win! Abortion & gun control = price for freedumb!)
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To: rface
No need for such a bomb with our current enemy. Al Qaeda boys are already doing each other.
And goats.

15 posted on 06/09/2007 12:45:12 PM PDT by Allegra (Socks.)
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To: rface
Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'

Been done.

16 posted on 06/09/2007 12:55:08 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: martin_fierro

Obviously it worked on these guys.

17 posted on 06/09/2007 12:58:16 PM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

Comment #20 Removed by Moderator


To: rface
This was a non-functional idea that lasted long enough to be written into a single sentence which sought money. Hellooo. Stuff like that happens all the time.
A friend and colleague of mine started as an engineer in a bullpen at Glen L. Martin. One day the assignment was to brainstorm all possible ways of traveling into space. The most outlandish idea was to build a large saucer which would be propelled into space with a series of "small" nuclear explosions. I kid you not.

Anyone who takes this sort of high-flying nonsense seriously is a brass-plated fool. How does that fit the template of News Org.

Congressman Billybob

Latest article, "Feudin' Banjos 'n Writin' Laws"

21 posted on 06/09/2007 1:12:56 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Please visit
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To: martin_fierro
ROFLMAO! They did, indeed!

22 posted on 06/09/2007 1:15:38 PM PDT by Theresawithanh (You are my tagline, my only tagline, you make me happy when skies are gray...)
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To: BigFinn
I have a better theory... spray them with estrogen.

On second thought... better not.

23 posted on 06/09/2007 1:22:06 PM PDT by BigFinn
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To: cardinal4
Shhh... Darth Rove didn’t want that one getting out to the DUmmies yet. He’s still trying to make it spread via teh internets.

24 posted on 06/09/2007 1:23:40 PM PDT by WinOne4TheGipper (Conspiracy theorists are among the most egotistical people, but have the fewest reasons to be such.)
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To: rface
A new type of flame thrower?

25 posted on 06/09/2007 1:27:22 PM PDT by Redcloak (The 2nd Amendment isn't about sporting goods.)
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To: martin_fierro
Raise ya...

26 posted on 06/09/2007 2:00:03 PM PDT by Old Sarge
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To: rface
I think they actually set one off in San Fransisco awhile back.... /sarc

27 posted on 06/09/2007 3:22:41 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man
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To: Cementjungle
Does this mean they'd dig the Enola Gay out of mothballs to drop the ceremonial first one out it's 'bomb bays'????

28 posted on 06/09/2007 3:39:39 PM PDT by Viking2002 (Fred in '08. Deal with it.)
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To: rface


29 posted on 06/09/2007 3:49:39 PM PDT by csvset
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To: rface
Codenamed Operation Gomer.

30 posted on 06/09/2007 4:47:46 PM PDT by kcar
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; KlueLass; ...
A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.
Wait a minute... I think pretty much all soldiers are more interested in sex than in fighting -- just not sex with each other.

The part that really cracked me up (euphemism) is the phrase "Berkeley watchdog organization"...

"Hijack this, ######s!"

31 posted on 06/09/2007 7:18:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated June 8, 2007.)
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To: rface
The Brits perfected this long ago...
Formation of Fairies

32 posted on 06/09/2007 7:25:30 PM PDT by TADSLOS (A proud member of El Presidente's designated racist bigot vigilante league.)
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To: rface
It would be immoral to make a device that causes people to sin against God. Nonetheless, it seems one has been set off in the Rat party base.

33 posted on 06/10/2007 12:49:23 AM PDT by Pinkbell (Duncan Hunter for President in 2008)
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To: rface
I think we have the makings of a South Park episode here.

34 posted on 06/10/2007 4:43:16 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: rface
The gay bomb is made from melting down Judy Garland record albums and then capturing the gases emitted for use in the weapon. One whiff and you will be overcome by a desire to go to a Tab Hunter film festival.

35 posted on 06/10/2007 4:46:22 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Story behind the story of Fr. Fessio & AMU

Story behind the story of Fr. Fessio & AMU


AQ Investigative Report

The story behind the story of Father Fessio's firing from Ave Maria University

A good priest in a bad environment

By John Grasmeier
April, 2007

Outta' town by sundown

On Wednesday March 21, 2007, Father Joseph Fessio was summoned to the office of Chancellor Tom Monaghan and fired from his non-paying job as Provost of Ave Maria University. Monaghan offered no explanation whatsoever for the sudden dismissal. He simply told Father Fessio to pack his things and be off of campus by day’s end. It was the start of what was about to become a most interesting day.

Around 2 P.M., Father Fessio sent the following short note to his email list:

To the Ave Maria University community: I have been asked to resign my position as provost and leave the campus immediately. I will miss Ave Maria and the many of you whom I hold dear. - Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.

Around mid afternoon, Ave Maria’s public relations firm issued a carefully worded yet un-illuminating statement which stated that Father Fessio “…was asked to step down as Provost of the University as a result of irreconcilable differences over administrative policies and practices.” AMU staff was told not to speak to the media about the controversy.

Once word got out on campus, perturbed and bewildered students immediately began to organize an impromptu protest in support of the much beloved Jesuit. The protest started out in front of President Nick Healy’s office, then moved to Father Fessio’s on-campus residence, where it had grown to approximately 100 well behaved but upset students who at various times began in-concert recitations of the Rosary. An emotional Father Fessio emerged from his quarters to give a brief statement, and then left the area.

Nearly as fast as word hit the street at AMU, it hit the streets of the Catholic blogosphere and the local media. Fr. Fessio is generally well liked and respected among Catholics of all stripes and backgrounds, an accomplishment rarely realized in a Church known for its diverse and, at times, contentious factions. He’s seen by most, even those who often sharply disagree with him, as a good-natured, intelligent and well formed priest. News that he had been fired went over like a lead Hindenburg. Even with the sparse information available at the time, only the most obtuse internet surfer could have missed the collective cyber-frown that was immediately directed towards the powers-that-be at AMU. After all, Father Fessio was rather famous for his long list of accomplishments, while those running the show at AMU were rather infamous for their long list of mishaps.

The timing of Father Fessio’s dismissal couldn’t have been worse. Admissions activities for the next school year were in high-gear. Ironically, news of the firing came on the very day that thousands of AMU donors would open their mail to find a three page, poorly written plea for donations penned by Monaghan himself. Even more ironic was the fact that in less than two days, Fr. Fessio was scheduled to appear in Washington D.C. to accept induction into the Catholic Educator's Hall of Fame. One would think that those behind Fr. Fessio’s firing had surely taken these and other factors into consideration beforehand, but that seems not to have been the case. A senior staff member told AQ that foresight and wisdom on such matters shouldn’t be assumed from “this crew.” Another highly placed source lamented that “they jumped off a cliff, but forgot to look before they jumped.” The latter source wondered outloud how those with such myopic tendencies came to run a Catholic higher learning institution.

At around the time the area in front of President Healy’s office was becoming populated with angry students, AMU management’s voicemail and email inboxes were becoming populated with angry messages. Donors were calling to express their outrage and parents where inquiring about what steps needed to be taken to remove their children from the school.

A 4:30 P.M. staff meeting was called by university officials in order to contain the brush fire they had started, which was now threatening to burn out of control. Initially, the meeting was to be for staff and faculty only, but it was thought best to open it up to the students as well given their state of mind. One student who was present at the earlier protest said that according to the buzz amongst his colleagues many were already contemplating “voting with their feet” by next semester over Father Fessio’s firing. Tuition at Ave Maria is around $22,500 per year, which works out to $11,250 per voting student foot.

Students swarmed to the meeting by the hundreds. Nearly every single man, woman and child on campus – staff and student alike - showed up for the event which, as the protest earlier in the day, had not been on anyone’s Wednesday agenda. It became a packed house. There were no rafters to hang from, but there were 300-400 students present, many having to stand and sit in the aisles. Before the meeting began, visibly nervous staff members milled about in a corner speaking in hushed tones. Among them was founder Tom Monaghan, President Nick Healy, Chaplain Robert Garrity, Dean of Students Dan Dentino and other “who’s who” of AMU faculty and staff. Campus security personnel wearing black suits were also in attendance.

Once underway, the meeting quickly turned into a rather raucous affair. The mob demanded to know who killed their Caesar. Many young women could be heard sobbing as students wondered out loud how it could be that their favorite priest had been so suddenly and so unceremoniously frog-marched off campus. There were standing ovations when Father Fessio was mentioned along with emotional appeals for his immediate reinstatement. If those in attendance sought answers, they were not forthcoming from the besieged speaker bunker. In describing the scene, one student said “It was a Greater North dog and pony show that showed the disconcerting lack of confidence in the administration… they gave a statement that said nothing and skipped around the questions, refusing to answer them. It really turned the students off.” Another student described the meeting as “meaningless.” What was intended as an ad hoc damage control venue was creating more damage than it was controlling. Those attempting to explain things without explaining anything were only making matters worse. By nightfall, it was abundantly clear that Wednesday had not been a very good day for higher ups at AMU.


The situation hadn’t improved by next day. In fact, it got worse.

The deafening silence emanating from university officials, who refused to shed any light on the previous day’s events, was causing speculation in the local media and on the internet to run rampant. In an effort to fill the informational vacuum, websites that had been following the goings-on at AMU were already tracking the canary feathers back to the cats responsible for them. Although he couldn’t provide any details of his dismissal (because none had been given to him), Father Fessio was characteristically open and accessible. He gave several interviews to the local press where he came across as unfazed and nonchalant, appearing almost as if he was wondering what all the fuss was about. He seemed fine with it all, expressing happiness that a “burden” had been lifted off his shoulders and saying that he was looking forward to his future “work for the Lord’s vineyards.” Father had nary a bad word directed toward anyone, only observing in the most detached and objective fashion imaginable, that in his most humble opinion, the firing had been a “mistake.” Indeed. If this was to be described as a “mistake” then it should be assumed that Father would have charitably informed the captain of the sinking Titanic that his dire circumstances were the result of a mere “boating mishap.”

Fr. Fessio’s graceful and commendable handling of the controversy contrasted sharply with the university’s ham handedness. The Fessio affair was becoming to AMU’s already suffering public image what Godzilla was to Tokyo. Only Tokyo’s Godzilla had emerged terribly from the sea through no fault of the Japanese. AMU’s PR Godzilla had emerged – smelling like a rose - from Tom Monaghan’s own office, and he had nobody to blame but himself and those advising him. AMU was now in the second day of its self inflicted PR disaster. In an interview with the Washington Post, Phil Lawler of Catholic World News referred to the debacle as “institutional suicide.”

At around 6 P.M., in an obvious attempt to stop the bleeding, President Nick Healy issued the second bewildering statement to come from AMU in as many days. It seemed now that all of the "irreconcilable differences" had been reconciled in less than a day. The statement told that Father Fessio had been asked by those who fired him the day before, to remain at AMU; Father Fessio accepted. Healy’s statement claimed that the sudden 180 was “a sign of our esteem for his great gifts and abilities.” Which begged the question; if Father was so “esteemed” and had such "great gifts and abilities" then why was he so shabbily treated when he was summarily canned the day before? The statement went on “He will be designated a theologian in residence and maintain a room on campus.” In other words, Fr. Fessio had been demoted… again. Father started out with AMU as Chancellor, Professor of Theology and head of the chaplaincy, and wielded a great deal of influence over the curricula and spiritual direction of the university. Now, only a few years later, he was to be somewhat of a figurehead, a “theologian” with no official power or authority. Officially, he was to be seen by the students but not heard by the administration. If this is the manner in which AMU management treats those they “esteem,” how would they treat those whom they don’t esteem?

While the effectiveness of the move to bring Father back - in whatever stricken capacity - remains to be seen, there were many questions as to how this all came about. The particulars of the firing are still being kept under wraps with explicit permission needed from the top before any staff or faculty can speak to the press. As of the time of this writing, Father Fessio still tells others that he has absolutely no idea what, in particular, lead to his firing that day.

Through no fault of those in the media reporting on the incident, there was was a great deal of guesswork due to a vacuum of information about the circumstances under which the firing occurred. Some articles and blogs speculated that it came about as the result of a recent interview where Fr. Fessio offered his thoughts about homosexuality being inherent at birth. The erroneous speculation was that his comments were seen as unorthodox, thus AMU decided to hand him his walking papers. As anyone close to university politics will attest to, it will be a long time before AMU management will ever "out-Catholic" Father Fessio.

People on the inside of AMU knew immediately that there was much more behind Fr. Fessio's firing than him simply "stepping in it" once or not giving a good interview. Those familiar with the situation are nearly unanimous in concluding that the ultimate reason behind the unfortunate turn of events, was a long running power struggle between Nick Healy and Father Fessio that finally had come to a head. At the heart of that struggle is the spiritual and liturgical direction of the fledgling university. Many who spoke with (AQ) referred to the struggle in terms “war” or “warfare.” As one source put it “the administration has been extremely hostile towards Father Fessio and tradition.” The source said that there exists an atmosphere where traditional and orthodox elements, particularly in regard to the liturgy, are “shunned,” while more liberal “glory and praise” and charismatic influences are given precedence.

The Eagle and the Legal Beagle

If the intended goal is getting a Catholic university off the ground, one would be hard pressed to find anyone better qualified than Fr. Fessio to help realize that goal. Father holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Gonzaga University and a Doctorate in Theology from the University of Regensburg. His thesis director was none other than Father Joseph Ratzinger - who now happens to sit in the chair of St. Peter as the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Not only did they share a student-teacher relationship, but the Holy Father and Fr. Fessio have become personal friends over the years, often attending the same seminars and retreats as well as meeting privately on many other matters. The Pope frequently asks Fr. Fessio – who was once his favorite student at Regensburg - how things are going AMU. After all, it was the Holy Father himself who intervened on Fr. Fessio’s behalf to get him released from his exile as a hospital chaplain (imposed on him retributively by his liberal Jesuit superiors) in order to take the position at Ave Maria.

In addition to his impeccable credentials and connections (and a mailing-list of tens of thousands of potential donors), Fr. Fessio also brought with him to AMU experience and gravitas. As founder of both Saint Ignatius USF and Campion College, he possessed an invaluable real-world “school of hard knocks” background in jumpstarting Catholic higher learning institutions. He also possessed a good deal of business experience after founding and running the multi-million dollar Catholic publishing giant “Ignatius Press”. Fr. Fessio is prominent and well known, not only in Catholic circles, but in the national - even international – media where he has often been sought after to speak on every subject from the goings on at the Vatican to his thoughts on Islam.

In the early days of AMU’s founding, Father Fessio’s “star power” was not lost on Tom Monaghan. Monaghan realized that if he had Fr. Fessio do nothing more than smile and strike poses in a display case somewhere on campus, he would attract far more than his fair share of seed money, needed faculty, new student applications and all of the other happy-stuff that was essential to getting AMU off on the right foot. Initially, Father Fessio’s experience and talents were put to good use. He was made Chancellor, Professor of Theology and head of the chaplaincy. He had a great deal of influence, not only over the curricula and educational direction of the university, but the liturgical and spiritual direction as well.

In regard to the liturgy, Father Fessio is a reformer who holds that many of the problems with the modern Catholic condition stem from many of the problems with the modern Catholic Mass. He’s spoken at length about his ideas on liturgical reform publicly as well as with the Holy Father, who for the most part shares his sympathies. At times Fr. Fessio has been quite vocal about the issue, more than once stating publicly that he viewed changing the orientation of the priest toward the people (versus populum) as a “mistake.” Father Fessio presides over reverent ad orientum (facing the altar) Novus Ordo Masses. Most of his Masses are spoken or sung in Latin and accompanied by sacred Gregorian chant. Ironically, at a university being billed as the new bastion of orthodoxy and reverence in Catholic academia, Father Fessio’s orthodoxy and reverence would become his undoing.

Enter one Nicholas J. Healy Jr., President of Ave Maria University.

Unlike Father Fessio, former New York lawyer Nick Healy’s qualifications as a Catholic leader and educator are nearly non-existent. He has no credentials, education or formal training in any ecclesiastical discipline. The extent of his expertise on the sacred liturgy is limited to that of a layman occupying a pew at Mass. Before being picked up by Monaghan, his only experience as a Catholic educator had been when he held the position of “Vice President of University Relations,” a communications/PR position, at Franciscan University, Steubenville. His educational and professional background is mostly in New York Maritime law and insurance. By any reading of his résumé, Healy is very qualified to act as a fiduciary for East River tugboat captains who get bumped by barges, but is he qualified as a Catholic educator? His position at AMU, however is less a result of his background than him acting as Monaghan’s right hand or “push” man.

The differences between Father Fessio and Nick Healy are not limited to their prerequisites. Father Fessio is seen frequently out and about campus mingling and visiting with students, while Healy spends his days in his office. Father Fessio is extremely popular with the students; Healy is not. Fr. Fessio is reform minded and orthodox; Healy is a committed praise and worship type of charismatic.

Charismatic Charisma

If the mantra of the 60s was “if it feels good do it”, then the mantra of the Charismatic movement that has its roots in that turbulent era would be, “if it feels good, it must be the Holy Spirit.” The Charismatic “renewal” sprang out of nowhere after it was literally fabricated on American college campuses in the 1960s. It more closely resembles “happy-clappy” Pentecostal Protestantism than anything traditionally Catholic. Compared to their traditional or orthodox counterparts, charismatics tend to be far more accepting of novelty in matters such liturgy and music. They are more inclined toward innovation and less inclined toward tradition and established dogma. Their spiritual orientation would tend to be more horizontal and less vertical in nature and their faith more emotional than cerebral. A higher degree of emphasis is placed on what is perceived as personal spiritual gratification, rather than liturgical reverence and catechetical development. Charismatic liturgies have been notorious breeding grounds for some of the worst liturgical abuses on record. While charismatics can range anywhere on the ideological spectrum from heretically liberal to politically conservative, there is no denying that the movement itself is wholly modernistic and newfangled. They would likely protest the labels, but in light of 2,000 years of tradition, the charismatic movement is entirely new to Catholicism or “neo-Catholic,” it’s adherents by extension “neo-Catholics.” There is no such animal as a traditional charismatic.

Before going to work for Monaghan, Nick Healy had a public relations position at the heavily charismatic Franciscan University, in Steubenville, Ohio. His leanings and many of his designs for AMU come as a result of his experiences there. Healy’s charismatic formation wouldn’t be an issue in and of itself if he was simply a “work-a-day” president of a university, but that's not the case. He has his intentions on the liturgy and spiritual direction of AMU and he has increasingly sought for himself more control over both. For a time, Fr. Fessio was able to counteract Healy’s influence, but only for so long. Because of his pull with Monaghan (who hails from a charismatic background himself), Healy was uniquely positioned to get his way on matters important to him, thus it was inevitable that Fr. Fessio’s orthodox vision would be progressively pushed aside, commensurately yielding to Healy’s charismatic agenda. Along the way, the frictional relationship between the two would boil over.

There was an incident in 2005, when Healy’s son-in-law and AMU faculty member, Dr. Jules van Schaiejk, suggested to Healy that they bring in a speaker by the name of Paul Griffith to give an on-campus talk. Healy agreed. When Fr. Fessio was made aware of Griffith’s highly unorthodox views - one being that Catholics should support homosexual “civil unions” - he as Provost put the kibosh on the talk and had Griffith’s invitation withdrawn. One thing led to another and the issue eventually grew to become so contentious, that van Schaiejk resigned over it. van Schaiejk and Healy no longer speak to each other.

Shortly after the Griffith dust-up, Healy made it known that he wanted to bring in a new charismatic “healing” priest by the name of Father Richard McAlear. Fr. McAlear had been involved with the charismatic renewal since the early days back in 1972, and according to his bio, part of the “healing ministry” since 1976. Healing Masses are services where after Mass or sometimes even during Mass, the priest or lay people touch or anoint with oil the body parts of those who wish to be “healed” of real or perceived spiritual and physical ailments. These dramatic rituals are marked by lots of hand waving, emotional outbursts and scenes of attendees channeling “the spirit.” Congregants often have to step over those who are laid-out in the aisles or rolling around on the floor after having been “slain in the spirit.” What starts out as what was supposed to be a Catholic Mass, usually devolves into a rather helter-skelter affair by the time it’s all over.

Healy intended to make regular “healing Masses” available at AMU. Of course Father Fessio, who considers healing Masses to be an “abomination,” wanted none of it. Father attempted, to no avail, to stop the healing Masses from coming to campus. His unsuccessful efforts only further deepened the rift between him and Healy.

Not long after these two incidents, Healy approached Tom Monaghan and attempted to convince him to remove Fr. Fessio from AMU altogether. Although Father Fessio wasn’t fired outright, he was removed from the chaplaincy. Monaghan never gave Father Fessio the courtesy of speaking with him about the demotion before rendering the decision. Monaghan, a college dropout, would soon replace Father Fessio as University Chancellor, and University Chaplain - Father Robert Garrity - would report to Nick Healy instead of Fr. Fessio.

One source, who had spoken to AQ about the liturgical situation at AMU prior to the most recent Fr. Fessio controversy, is from a family that has been involved with AMU since the very beginning. His father sits on an AMU board and one of his brothers plans to open a business in the town of Ave Maria. The source and another brother had in the past been enthusiastic involved with the new university, once going so far as to fully finance a retreat to Atlanta for ten AMU students. Because of the disappointments they’ve encountered along the way, the brothers have no further plans of aiding AMU, financially or otherwise for the foreseeable future. He said:

“As far as Ave Maria, it appears to be degrading. The morning Mass was always a Fessio type Mass with the priest facing the altar. The noon Mass was more of a typical Novus Ordo Mass with the priest facing the people. Slowly things started to degrade, and the priest at the noon Mass would leave the sanctuary to distribute communion so that the parishioners could not utilize the communion rail. Also, extraordinary ministers were introduced and women lectors.” He continued “I predicted that within 5 years, Ave Maria will be a fully charismatic college.”

He made that prediction 3 years ago.

Offers that can’t be refused

Many of those in Healy’s orbit have either spent time at Steubenville or at least adhere – often to the point of stridency - to the charismatic mentality. There also exists a certain contingent of students and staff who, to varying degrees, actively or passively adopt this mindset. The behavior and tactics employed by some of them, has caused traditional and orthodox circles at AMU to refer to those from Steubenville, their sympathetic partisans and the more zealous charismatics as “Steubenites” or the “Franciscan Mafia.” While this mafia might not fit you for a pair of cement shoes, there have been many examples of those who’ve crossed its path suffering draconian real-world consequences. Several sources without prompting have referred to a “climate of fear” created by management resulting from the manner in which they deal - at times wrathfully - with faculty and staff who are seen as going against the charismatic grain. According to some of the first hand accounts given to AQ, the sources aren't exaggerating.

In September of 2005, Father Chad Ripperger, was invited by Una Voce – a private traditional Catholic organization not affiliated with the university - to give a talk and offer an off-campus private Mass. Father Ripperger is a traditional priest with the Fraternal Society of Saint Peter (FSSP), a fully legitimate priestly society authorized by the Holy See by John Paul II. Father Ripperger, who happens to be a former student of Father Fessio’s from their days at the Ignatius institute, is described by Father Fessio as “someone whose zeal and fidelity I have the highest regard for.” The students had asked for and received permission from Father Fessio to have Father Ripperger visit. Everything seemed to be a go. Things began to go south however when news of Father Ripperger’s visit reached the desk of AMU Chaplain, Father Robert Garrity. Father Garrity telephoned Father Ripperger and informed him that if he intended to visit, Father Ripperger must concelebrate a Novus Ordo Mass. The clear implication was that if Father Ripperger refused to comply with the unusual request, the already planned and approved event would not be allowed to take place. Being that Father Ripperger (like the vast majority of his FSSP brethren) does not offer or concelebrate Novus Ordo Masses, it was impossible for him to agree to Fr. Garrity’s odd, late-breaking precondition. Father had no choice but to inform Una Voce and the students that he, regretfully, had to cancel.

Later that same month, Father Garrity would take further measures against the traditional students at AMU, whom he viewed as “divisive.” A newly formed traditional student group named “The Saint Gregory Sodality” (after Pope Saint Gregory the Great) had submitted a draft of its constitution in order to become officially recognized by the university. After reviewing the proposed constitution, in an email copied to Nick Healy and other officials, Garrity demanded a long list of unusual amendments to the constitution. In a section of the document entitled “Long Term Goals,” was a sentence which read “Assist in making the traditional Roman liturgy available on or near campus.” Garrity instructed the Sodality students to omit the sentence altogether because, he explained “the traditional Roman liturgy is celebrated here at AMU abundantly… the Mass of the Second Vatican and of its postconcilliar legislation is the traditional liturgy… therefore, this ‘Long Term Goal’ of the Sodality is currently unattainable.” In other words, the group was to abandon any and all efforts to have the traditional Mass offered anywhere near AMU because, according to Garrity, it already was being offered. Either the students were woefully ignorant of their surroundings, or Garrity had just declared the Novus Ordo (which translates literally to “New Order”) as “the traditional Roman liturgy.” Garrity would further impress the students by demanding that his appointment as Speech Tsar be constitutionally mandated. He instructed them to add to their constitution “It is for the Ave Maria University Chaplain to interpret and apply the meaning of the term ‘traditional’...” Garrity was making it clear that he and he alone was to determine the very meaning of the very word “traditional.” Further on in the email, Garrity would complete the clampdown by stating “this issue of pressing for the Tridentine Mass at AMU need not be, and is not to be, brought up again to the Chaplain or to University officials, lest divisiveness and frustration be the result. Furthermore, the Sodality is directed to refrain from any activity or speech which is deemed by the Chaplain to be divisive or misleading to other students.” With this one sentence, Garrity was telling the students that there was to be no mention of the Tridentine Mass and was appointing himself overseer of all activity and speech in regard to the singled out Sodality students. Father Garrity's intervention had effectively neutralized The Saint Gregory Sodality.

In March of 2006, two traditional students from Sodality were participating in a private, off campus event that was being sponsored by Una Voce. It was to be a series of three talks along with three Tridentine Masses. The talks and Masses were to be given by Father Demets, a traditional priest from the Fraternal Society of Saint Peter (FSSP), and were to be held on private property not belonging to AMU. The event in no way was affiliated with the university and no university priest or staff member had any authority over it. When word of the event got back to university administrators, they made every effort to nip it in the bud. One thing lead to another until the environment became so hostile that the Mass intended for the third night was called off. The beleaguered FSSP priest could have given the third and final Mass, but fearing reprisals would be taken against the students, he thought it best not to. Although Fr. Garrity had no jurisdiction over the private facility, he showed up at the location on the last night to see to it that the third Mass did not take place. For two of the students involved, there was talk of expulsion. The reason given was that they used university property (email) to spread the word of the event. Father Fessio stepped in on behalf of the students and the expulsion was averted.

One particularly disturbing incident took place in April of 2006. AMU was sponsoring a talk entitled “The Holy Father in the Holy Land.” The speakers were a combination of Christians and Jews and the topic was the visit to Israel by John Paul II. One of the students, who had been threatened the previous month with expulsion for attending the Una Voce event, attracted the attention of management when he failed to attend the talk. An investigation was launched in which acquaintances of the student were privately interviewed regarding their interactions with him in an effort to discover why he didn’t attend the talk. After the inquiry, the student and the same friend who was nearly expelled with him in March were summoned to the Father Garrity’s office, where previously prepared documents awaited their signatures. Part of the text read “I assent to these teachings of Nostra Aetate, and thereby affirm that The Jews, as a people, have not been rejected or accursed by God.” The statement was highly problematic on a number of levels, one being that anyone familiar with the text of Nostra Aetate would realize that the statement the students were to sign thoroughly distorts and embellishes what Nostra Aetate actually teaches.

The bewildered students weren’t given any reason why they were called into the chaplain’s office that day and made to sign a document (that was to become part of their permanent record) which contradicted Church teaching. They were baffled at why, at a college in America, they were being made to sign an odd, theologically flawed statement created by someone else, regarding their beliefs on the salvation of Jews. Although they reluctantly signed the statements, they to this day, regret doing so. One higher up source who was close to the situation expressed remorse over the theological inaccuracy of the document and the treatment of the students. He explained that someone at the very top of the AMU pyramid wrongly suspected the students of “anti-Semitism” and threatened not to allow them to graduate. The source went on to point out that nobody at the Orwellian document signing “ceremony” believed that the students were in any way anti-Semitic and that no evidence whatsoever of anti-Semitism had been brought against them. The source referred to the student who was at the center of the controversy as a “good kid,” and said that he was made to sign the document partly for his own protection from the top official, on whose anti-Semitic radar screen the student had happened to erroneously show up.

During the fall semester of 2006, two concerned students attended one of Fr. McAlear’s “healing” Masses and documented over 70 liturgical and rubrical omissions, abuses and inconsistencies – all before the healing portion had begun. The students describe what they witnessed as “liturgical chaos,” saying that the Mass turned into a clamorous carnival-like atmosphere with blatant disregard to the Eucharist. A band was “rocking out” to praise and worship music in the background. The two students found the experience so disturbing that they felt the need to vacate the premises. What follows is an account of what happened when they attempted to leave:

“I physically could not stand it anymore and was on the verge of tears. My friend and I left but we did not make it out the door. A student, a disciple of Fr. McAlear cornered me against a bike rack and verbally assaulted me for being on the ‘devil's side’ saying that I was an ‘enemy of the Spirit’ and that ‘Fr. McAlear was doing the direct Will of God!’ and that ‘you can write as many reports as you want, but Fr. McAlear will never falter- only your Latin will!’ He stormed off leaving me pressed up against the metal bike rack shaking.” The students sent the abuses they documented to the bishop of the Diocese of Venice, who at the time was Bishop Nevins. They never received a reply.

Just this past March, 2007, the university sponsored a retreat for 15 students to travel to a mission ranch in New Mexico. Once there, students attended a Mass where they witnessed many blatant abuses. Among other absurdities, they were made to run around in circles shouting Native American chants near the start of the Mass, then as a group they were made to sing the day’s Holy Gospel, the words of which were scrolling in “bouncy ball” fashion across Teleprompters that had been rolled in for the occasion. When two of the scandalized students brought their concerns to those who were overseeing the event, not only were they harshly rebuffed, but their retreat was cut short and the two were put on the next plane back to Florida. When Healy and others in the administration got wind of the incident, the students were severely censured and an effort was made to have them expelled. The move to expel the students ended only after Fr. Fessio stepped in on their behalf, once again saving students on the wrong side of the administration from expulsion.

Musical Chairs

Diana Silva and her husband Michael first met Father Fessio in November of 2003 at an Ignatius Press retreat house in California, when AMU was in its very first semester of classes. Father Fessio picked up on Diana’s love for sacred music and saw also that she was immensely qualified in her field, accomplishing much during her two decades of liturgical music experience. Diana holds a Master’s degree in Church Music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton New Jersey. She was on the music faculty at the University of California Davis and has sung with the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. The Silvas moved from California to Florida after Diana accepted an offer from Father to become the music director at AMU. Her mission would be threefold: To build a professional choir-in-residence, implement a BA program in sacred music and oversee liturgical music at the university.

Though Diana initially had high hopes of fostering the music she loved at AMU, her enthusiasm would eventually turn to discouragement. After approximately a year on the job, increasing pressure was placed on her to become more involved with “Praise and Worship” (which she considers a misnomer) music that the charismatic factions of the staff were vying for. Diana at one time had been active in the modern/folk/pop trends of liturgical music, but she had long ago left it behind. As she developed spiritually and professionally, she gravitated towards traditional chant, polyphony, classical and the like. The sacred liturgical music of the Church, unambiguously held in high regard by the deposit of faith, had become her music. Realizing that it had been all but lost, she dedicated her professional life to its restoration.

Despite there being no measurable demand for it coming from the student body, the goal of management was to have a Praise and Worship program at all costs. So at Healy's insistence, during the Spring '05 semester P&W groups were formed under Diana's supervision. The absence of enthusiasm on the part of the students became evident when they would frequently miss rehearsals and Masses, making it difficult or impossible to keep the P&W groups viable. Ignoring the near total lack of interest, Healy stubbornly pushed for even more P&W music as well as Masses.

A major setback for the music program and deep disappointment for Diana came when Father Fessio was removed from the chaplaincy. Not long after, without Diana's knowledge, Healy brought in a new P&W director specifically to oversee the music he was trying to implement. The new director and a history professor held auditions for the Praise and Worship groups, which after being formed, were given little or no supervision. No-shows and liturgical abuses/irregularities followed, as did quality assurance issues. For example, “Alleluia” numbers were put in song lists for Lent, despite the fact that the Alleluia is never part of any Catholic liturgy during the penitential season.

In Spring of 2006, Father Fessio gave a homily on the Church’s teaching regarding sacred music. Using quotes from popes from Saint Pius X up through John Paul II to gently but persuasively make his case, Father taught that the music used in liturgy should appeal to the higher nature and befit the solemnity of he sacred event at hand - the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was a non-polemical and rather innocuous (not to mention 100%correct) teaching homily which Father, in his role as priest, had properly given. For whatever reason, it brought scorn from AMU higher-ups causing Father Fessio to get into hot water with them.

Then in Fall of '06, it was decided by management that P&W will be "student led," with no supervision whatsoever from the Department of Sacred Music. Eventually the student leader was unable to handle the workload and the position was given to the wife of a staff member. At this point, despite the fact that as Director of Music and Liturgy she was contractually obligated to be responsible for all liturgical music, Diana was to have absolutely no say over the P&W groups.

When Diana began at AMU under Father Fessio, the music program was developing in a way that properly dignified a Catholic higher learning institution billing itself as as bastion of Catholic orthodoxy. Since, the music program has become yet another battleground of liturgical “war” raging at AMU. After a while, Diana was made to feel like persona non grata by the administration as her career at AMU became a daily struggle with disruption and interference.

Diana submitted her resignation from AMU in November of 2006, to become effective as of June 2007. As it stands now, all musicians report to Father Garrity, who reports directly to Nick Healy.

A solid foundation or Dominos?

One of the earliest eyebrow-raising moments for AMU observers came at the unveiling of the artists’ drawings and scale model of what was to be the future main oratory at the very center of Ave Maria University and town. What was shown at unveiling ceremony - arranged in conjunction with a performance by the Vatican Choir at the Naples Philharmonic - was an imposing glass-encased structure that seemed more suited for lunar botany than Catholic worship. It was abstract and unsightly. The Ave Maria “hothouse” as it was called, was universally panned by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and provided a wealth of joke material for bloggers and print journalists.

Donors and supporters who were waiting with bated breath were, to say the very least, under whelmed. Instead of asking where to send their checks, they were asking how bird droppings, water stains and the infamous Florida mold were going to be cleaned off the hulking glass behemoth. Instead of exclaiming “how lovely!” they opted for “how expensive it will be to keep cool!”

The now scuttled oratory design was the brain-child of Tom Monaghan, founder and former CEO of Domino’s Pizza and primary benefactor of AMU.

The main reason why the novel, avant-garde proposed oratory didn’t seem at all a fitting tribute to a Catholic university is because, simply put, it wasn’t Catholic. The inspiration for its design was drawn in large part from the Mildred B. Cooper Chapel, and the Thorncrown Chapel, both in Arkansas, both Protestant and both designed by Euine Fay Jones - an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. Labeling Wright’s style as “modernist” would be considered a compliment by him and his admirers, as he is affectionately referred to as “the father of modern architecture.” It is well known that he despised classical Catholic architecture. Monaghan is a long time admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, at one point even living in a home designed by Wright. According to an August 5, 2006 article in the Naples Daily News “Each of the university buildings will be constructed in styles inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.”

Although Mr. Monaghan is often referred to in the mainstream media and by those who don’t know any better as an orthodox or even a “traditional” Catholic, he has been much more aligned with charismatic movement than any elements of solid orthodoxy or tradition. In fact Monaghan’s ties to the charismatic movement go back decades. He was very involved with the Ann Arbor based "Word of God" community, an ecumenical mixed-religion charismatic group whose questionable activities have drawn investigations by both the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The Church built on the Domino Farms property is fully modernist charismatic "community." Of course none of this calls into question Mr. Monaghan's love of the Lord or his politically conservative credentials, but a political conservative and a traditional Catholic are not one in the same.

Mr. Monaghan’s interior disposition becomes important when considering that his influence over the development of the university is virtually without restriction. In addition to being the main benefactor, he is school chancellor as well as CEO. He is not merely providing funding for the project and seeing to it that his investment is well spent, he is inserting himself into nearly every aspect of development, from the architecture of the buildings, to the hiring and firing of staff, to the liturgy. While Monaghan may well be a good businessman and a well meaning Catholic, many feel that he is too much the neophyte to be exerting the degree of macro-influence and micro-management over everybody and everything associated with the project. They fear that for someone who is wielding such complete control, he lacks sufficient grasp over such matters as Catholic theology, philosophy, history, liturgy and tradition. His autonomy is so screwed down and without question, that Monaghan has even taken it upon himself to design the very altar table for the oratory, an avant-garde, nouveau looking creation with three offset stones. At the time of this writing, some around him are trying to get the self-made liturgical designer to go with something more Catholic, before it’s too late. It should be noted that Mr. Monaghan, chancellor of a Catholic university, is a college dropout.

To be sure, becoming a saint doesn’t require a degree in theology or even a great deal of intelligence. In fact, a good argument could be made that worldly education and intellectual sophistication can actually become obstacles to sainthood. At issue however isn’t whether Monaghan possesses the qualities for sainthood, at issue is whether he possesses sufficient faculties to so completely lord over the founding of a Catholic academic institution. Some say that because he is using his own money to jumpstart Ave Maria University, he should do with it as he well pleases and that his autocracy has been paid for in full. This argument may hold true when establishing privately owned franchises charged with serving consumers, but does it hold true when establishing a tangible representation of the earthly Body of Christ responsible for educating young Christian minds? Unlike a private corporation in a capitalist free market, which is for the most part only the business of the board members and stakeholders, the moment Tom Monaghan announced to his Catholic brethren that he was embarking on this endeavor, it became every Catholic's business as much or more as it was his business. From the Holy Father, down to the student paying tuition and out to all of the faithful, AMU’s failures and successes belong to all Catholics. Nobody will argue that the philanthropic manner in which Monaghan is spending a huge portion of his wealth is anything but highly commendable. The concern is that his wealth has purchased for him the ability to turn a very high profile Catholic enterprise into a personal sandbox, and that he’s making crucial mistakes along the way.

As far as business acumen is concerned, a case could be made that Monaghan may be losing his touch. If donors, parents, students and faculty can be viewed as "customers," then large segments of the customer base have now been alienated or driven away. Of course, as expected secular liberals and the usual garden variety of Catholic detractors came out against the planned university while it was still only a notion. Now however, the penchant for repeated public gaffs, bloopers and at times downright bad behavior of the AMU powers-that-be have infuriated the many of the traditional and orthodox circles AMU had intended to woo. From a business model standpoint, what customers will be left to provide the student body, donation money and brain-trust? AMU can get by just fine without the approval of secular liberals, but can it get by without, orthodox, traditional and other "deep" Catholics?

Cloudy Florida Forecast

As it stands now, the new AMU campus is set to open for the Fall, 2007 semester. Although the original plan called for 600 students to be aboard for the maiden school year, only around 390 are expected. That translates to several million less in operating capital than had been anticipated. After nearly 5 years, the university still has yet to be fully accredited. In some ways this has been a blessing in disguise, as many students who had considered transferring to another school feared that some or all of their credits from AMU would be useless elsewhere. This unintended consequence however, cannot be seen as a good problem to have. It is not known if the university will operate under the local Diocese of Venice any time soon, but until that time, weddings and baptisms can't be performed.

Construction costs are far higher than initial projections, causing the project to be significantly scaled back from the original plans. Due in part to the series of hurricanes, outlays for expenses such as materials, labor and insurance have skyrocketed. Additionally, the real estate market in Southwest Florida, which was seeing a boom of historic proportions when the project began, has since taken a downturn. Where once local listings were sold before they could be entered into the MLS system, there is now a stagnant inventory of thousands of new and pre-existing area properties available to potential buyers which drop in price literally by the day. Not exactly an ideal market for agents selling the pricey Ave Maria Town properties to compete in.

The redesigned oratory, which is about 1/3 the size of the scuttled crystalline giant that birthed it, is near completion. The result is a recipe of ingredients taken from the Wright-inspired Protestant chapels fancied by chef Monaghan, combined with a handful of ideas from several sous-chef architects, mixed with various composite and natural materials which were all then blended together during several reluctant trips back to the drawing board. The final recipe now cooking in the hot Florida sun, is somewhat bluish colored and resembles a giant designer handbag. If the blogs are any indication, it doesn't seem that the AMU oratory will soon outlive its ability to elicit the colorful descriptions that began coming the moment it was fatefully unveiled. Two adjectives, however, that you won't often hear ascribed to it are "beautiful" and "Catholic."

The turnover rate for faculty and staff is extremely high. The development department is so much seen as a "revolving door" that new hires are likened to temps. In addition to the the Director of Music, other key faculty and staff have left. Father Beers, a traditionally minded staff member who has been very successful at building the pre-theologate program, has decided to put himself out to pasture by this summer. Coincidentally or not, he decided to make the decision public just a few days after the Fr. Fessio debacle. Over the past few months, some key personnel losses include its Provost, Dean of Pre-Theologate, Director of Liturgical Music, Human Resources Manager, it's magazine editor, events coordinator and others. As this story is being written, "panicked board meetings" are being called because the admissions department is in an uproar over three simultaneous high-level resignations over the past week.

Another former AMU VIP is Roger McCaffrey, the respected publisher of Roman Catholic Books and former publisher of Latin Mass Magazine. Roger relocated to Naples after Father Fessio enlisted him to assist in fundraising and publishing at AMU. In an interview with Brian Mershon of Renew America, McCaffrey, who resigned last September to pursue "attractive options elsewhere," paints a bleak picture for the university's near future. He said "Once the new semester begins, they'll move to get people off their knees for Communion, mess around more and more with the liturgy, and the self-proclaimed 'healer' priest, with his national organization, will inevitably have a widened role." Roger calls Father Fessio's firing "manifestly unjust and brutal in its execution" and asks "Is there anyone who can picture God on Nick's side in this?" He goes on to say "...the very modestly traditional liturgical life is under dire threat now, there is no chance I'd recommend Ave Maria to family or friends." Roger believes that the Fr. Fessio controversy will cost AMU not only students, but faculty as well. Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, tends to agree. He told the Washington Post, "if you're a tenured professor at another Catholic university and you see this happening, you say to yourself, 'If it could happen to Father Fessio, it could happen to anyone -- so what's my incentive for going to work at Ave Maria?' " Monaghan refuses to offer faculty at AMU tenure, their positions are largely "at will." Monaghan's will to be precise.

Despite the "gag order" that has been issued campus wide since Fr. Fessio's firing, Mr. McCaffrey isn't the only disenchanted AMU player, former or current, who is singing bluesy songs that aren't music to the ears of management. Although they're under strict orders to say nothing and to refer all inquiries to Monaghan's PR guy Robert Falls (who then has no comment) students, staff and faculty realize that they live in a free country and that AMU management's control over their very will has its limits. In fact, although they choose not to be identified for obvious reasons, few are those who are not willing to discuss the goings on at the university if the intended ear is discerning. It must be noted that the faculty and staff members who have broken the imposed "code of silence" are, to a person, educated professionals who understand the concepts of employee loyalty, confidentiality and discretion. They also understand that those concepts eventually reap diminishing returns and that there is also a time to speak out.

As one source close to the faculty puts it, "the stories you're hearing about the climate of fear are true." He says that "if there has been any movement at AMU from its inception until now, that movement has been from competence to incompetence."

What now?

Despite the litany of disappointments, the general consensus among good Catholics is that they wish to see AMU succeed in a providential manner. Even the most miffed of those in the AMU realm agree that with the proper reformatory and restorative measures, AMU could possibly right itself.

As it stands now, Nick Healy and Tom Monaghan run the entire AMU show from top to bottom. Yet if their resumes were combined, no ecclesiastical credentials exist and the only educational asset that could be drawn from both would be a single graduate degree in law. Not exactly an overqualified duo when the monumental task ahead is to establish a world class Catholic higher education institution. The current condition of the Tom Monaghan/Nick Healy system could go to show that the AMU project would be better served with more diverse and capable decision making apparatus in place. Since Father Fessio's firing, there has been suggestions of Intervention by board members, donors, stakeholders, ecclesiastical authorities or any combination of adults.

The traditionally geared can only be dismayed at reports of traditional students and activities being stigmatized or cast aside. A surefire way to begin winning them back would be for AMU to offer the Tridentine Mass, but that doesn't seem likely any time soon. The head of the theology department, Father Matthew Lamb or any number of FSSP priests could offer a Tridentine Mass at any given time, but thus far, all efforts to have the Mass anywhere near AMU have been hostilely opposed by some in the administration. Even if AMU was to get the permission of the local ordinary (or potentially rely on the much anticipated Moto Proprio), university officials - namely Monaghan, Healy and Fr. Garrity - seem as though they will not allow the Tridentine right under any circumstances. Traditionalists can only wonder at the irony of Father McAlear's healing Masses being available on campus while the Mass of nearly all of our saints and popes is not. Until that prevailing wisdom changes, AMU will continue to be scratched off of traditional Catholic Christmas lists.

One thing that would greatly help to bridge the divide AMU has created between itself and many Catholic circles, would be a bit of heartfelt contrition. Catholics are a forgiving bunch, so acknowledgement of past mistakes and a sincere commitment not to keep making them would go a long way. Thus far however, the tact mostly has been to strike out or adopt a sort of bunker mentality, which only turns any rebuke - even those from potential allies - into a tar baby.

Another area that needs to be looked at is the AMU policy of attempting to force the square charismatic agenda through the round orthodox hole, particularly in regard to music and liturgy. The buzz put out was that traditional and orthodox minded types should think of AMU as top of the line for Catholic secondary education, hence, these are the types that showed up for the party. Many now feel that the red carpet rolled out has become the rug being pulled out from under them. Students recently put together a petition with the signatures of 1/3 of the student body requesting the more reverent, Fessio type Masses. The faculty (which gets nothing but high marks from all quarters) has always been seen as far more conservative and reform leaning than the staff. The current crop of students and faculty are simply disinclined towards the charismatic atmosphere that management is attempting to manufacture around them.

What also absolutely must be addressed if AMU is to be successful, is the retention of quality human assets. The university must be able to attract and retain highly educated, well formed Catholic laity and clergy as faculty and staff, so it follows that AMU would need more, not fewer, qualified experienced and orthodox priests like Father Fessio. One reason why the reaction to his firing was so strong is because he is so widely seen as what’s right with AMU. That his name was added to the growing casualty list of key players who have been run off seemed a bridge too far.

It seems that Tom Monaghan just may have fired the wrong man on that Wednesday morning.