You know about the controversy at St. Thomas University, in St. Paul, which effectively gave the heave-ho to the local Archbishop as an ex officio member of the board. There are other reasons to be concerned about the Catholic identity of that school as well.
Someone forwarded to me a letter sent to the University.
Development Office January 3, 2008
University of St. Thomas
P.O. Box 64947
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0947
Dear Sir or Madam,
As a 1989 graduate of the College of St. Thomas, I follow the news about my alma mater with no little interest. Having recently received the latest, glossy print magazine, I would like to be able to donate to St. Thomas, if only to allow the University to recoup the expense undertaken to produce such a high quality product. A few things prevent me from doing so, two in particular.
Firstly, I am concerned about the direction the University has been taking with regard to its Catholic identity. The recent decision of the board to alter the privileged role that the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis has as chairman is troubling and seems contrary to the vision of Catholic education presented in John Paul II’s Ex corde Ecclesiae. The planned renovation of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas not only seems contrary to solid liturgical principles (e.g., a moveable instead of a fixed altar) but seems primarily designed to permit the chapel to be more easily used for non-liturgical events (even while a number of other suitable places exist on the campuses for such events). Since my primary reason for attending St. Thomas was a perceived emphasis on fidelity to the Church and the fullness of the Catholic tradition, the steps the University has taken to distance herself from that Catholic identity makes me wary to allow my money to be used for the destruction of something I value deeply.
Secondly is the issue of fiscal responsibility. The frivolous renovation of the chapel, the third such renovation since the Second Vatican Council, not only undermines the stability of the faith that a permanent chapel ought to engender, but also comes at an exhorbitant cost, when money could clearly be spent better elsewhere.
I will continue to offer the University of St. Thomas the support of my prayers, with the particular intentions that the board reconsiders its troubling decision to remove the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis from the chairmanship and that the University seeks to strengthen rather than dilute her Catholic identity. Financially, however, I will instead direct the funds I have at my disposal to Catholic institutions of higher education that espouse the ideals I was taught to value during my time at the College of St. Thomas.
(BA, History, Classical Languages, ’89)