The Roman Catholic World

June 4th, 2010

THE CHRONICLES OF AVE MARIA ©:  Who will stop the Barbarians?

by Marielena Montesino de Stuart 

“The whole camp rose up with one terrible cry, and
the deaf earth reverberated at its new lord’s name
– Attila, Attila, Attila the King.”

Fourth Canto – The Hunt  from Death of Buda,

 Epics of the Hungarian Plain, by János Arany


POPE LEO I (the Great) Meets ATTILA the HUN

In 452 AD, Rome was being threatened by Barbarians, under the command of Attila the Hun.  Pope Leo I (the Great) met with Attila in the vicinity of Mantua, near Lake Garda, where– single-handedly, and with tremendous determination he defended and protected the throne of Peter and The Eternal City, by persuading Attila to turn back.

In 2010 AD, I am an army of one inside Ave Maria– waiting for the modern Barbarians.

And this is another chapter of how this process has been unfolding…

Tom Golisano: Supporter of hard-core pro-choice politicians is honored at Ave Maria University

Flashback– November, 2009:  Tom Golisano, who has been a financial supporter of hard-core pro-choice politicians and pro-choice institutions, is honored at Ave Maria University on November 5th, 2009.   I was scheduled to cover the Golisano press conference as a Catholic reporter, and had registered directly with the university’s public relations firm (Falls Communications) in charge of press matters.

Ave Maria University’s administration “disinvited” me shortly before the press conference was to begin.  When I went to inquire from the administration why I had been disinvited–I was met by security guards and  Collier County Sheriff  deputies, who had been ordered to arrest me if I stepped on the campus to cover the story.

The university’s administration took their draconian approach a step further– by banning me from over 900 acres of their property for nearly three months.

The lame excuse given by the university’s administration to FOX Television news and other  media outlets was that I had been “disruptive” when I attended an Ave Maria town government meeting, on November 3rd 2009– a meeting which I attended as a resident taxpayer and property owner.  During that meeting I posed questions to the town’s governing board about compliance of Florida statutes.  The audio recordings of the meeting showed evidence that I was not disruptive– but simply exercising my rights as a citizen to ask questions at a town government meeting.  The amazing excuse and admission given by the university’s administration is alarming to say the least– given that Ave Maria’s town government meetings have nothing to do with university matters!

So, you ask yourselves—who is this Tom Golisano?  Golisano is a billionaire/politician from New York (he now resides in Naples) who has given breathtaking financial support to numerous hard-core, NARAL-endorsed pro-choice politicians, including Barack Obama– as well as monumental financial support to pro-choice organizations.

Why did AMU honor Golisano?  Because he gave AMU $4 million dollars for a field house (which is being constructed as I write this piece)—bearing Golisano’s name in perpetual honor.  But for Golisano, $4 million is chump change—compared to what he has given the pro-choice world.  The justification given for the honoring is that Golisano believes in the mission of Ave Maria University– and that  he has always been pro-life!

This perpetual honoring of Golisano is taking place in violation of the rules of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)– which state:

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”–  From Catholics in Political Life (USCCB 2004).  

While all this honoring is taking place—Golisano has become embroiled in a legal scandal.  On March 10, 2010 a court upheld a $26 million award against Golisano. The Associated Press story may be read here  (PDF)Further details available from the PRWeb HERE  (PDF).  You may also read  court document related to this case here  (PDF).

Then, on May 3rd, 2010 The Buffalo News reported the following [excerpt]:

“Billionaire B. Thomas Golisano’s political organization remains under investigation for election law violations after a State Supreme Court justice last week dismissed his efforts to halt the probe of his Responsible New York committee and its chief operative, G. Steven Pigeon.”

Read the full article from The Buffalo News website here.  Also available in PDF.

You would think that an institution like Ave Maria University, which has not even received official recognition as a Catholic university from the local bishop—would be more prudent, and name the building after a saint or martyr of the Church.  Unfortunately, the Golisano honoring represents  the ongoing erosion of the meaning of pro-life in Ave Maria–  further explained below.

While residents of Ave Maria and students of Ave Maria University are shown by the media conducting public demonstrations and prayer vigils 40 miles away, outside of Planned Parenthood in Naples, Florida—the Tom Golisano building continues to be erected, without demonstrations at the construction site—or anywhere in Ave Maria, for that matter.

The Jackson Lab 

The same absence of indignation goes for the well-publicized announcement that The Jackson Laboratory may be opening a facility in Ave Maria—a laboratory involved in “workshops” and “resources” (mutant mice) for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research!   Is it that the well-intentioned Ave Maria demonstrators who travel 40 miles to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Naples have a convenient blind spot for the Golisano building and the Jackson Lab issue?  I’d say—save on gas, you’ve got your work cut out for you–right here, inside Ave Maria!

How can this be happening in Ave Maria?  A town comprised overwhelmingly of Catholic families.

Who will stop the Barbarians?

Meanwhile– outside the walls of Ave Maria, expert leaders in the world of laboratory science—such as Julius I. Pericola, retired president of Bristol Laboratories in Syracuse , New York are strongly voicing their opposition to The Jackson Lab.  Here is an excerpt from Pericola’s comment in the Naples Daily News:

“Beware:  Scientists are very, very poor businessmen and will promise anything to have projects funded.”

Alvin E. Strack, Sr., former director in the international division of Smith, Kline & French Labs (now Glaxo-SmithKline) had this to say to the Naples Daily News:

“Pericola is right on in recognizing the airy-fairy promises being made for this company. Wall Street is awash with venture capital for promising biotechnology projects.  Let Jackson Lab get the money there if these venture capitalists feel it has something worthwhile to offer. 

To support this lab is a totally inappropriate use of the tax money of Collier County.

Keep the mice in Maine!

Finally, I find it even more reprehensible that part of the funding scheme to get Jackson Lab here would involve diversion of stimulus money intended for Medicare.  Medicare is just that.  The money is for care, and not extremely risky research ventures.

Shame on them!”

The complete comments by Pericola and Strack are available here and here.

Pericola and Strack are supported by an overwhelming (75%) public opposition to The Jackson Lab’s proposed move to Ave Maria (see results of poll below); however, the absolutely embarrassing fact is that the public opposition being published by the Naples Daily News ‘Letters to the Editor’ appears to be from outside Ave Maria—and not just from business leaders and corporate executives, but also from the general public.

This ‘outside-of-Ave Maria’ public opposition to The Jackson Lab is based on everything from burden to the taxpayer,  to environmental risks—as evidenced in the Naples Daily News letters to the editor, as well as a Naples Daily News Poll.  The letters that are written in support of The Jackson Lab venture, which appear to be in the minority– are, as Strack said—based on “airy-fairy promises.”

Even the National Catholic Register—which has written pieces praising Monaghan’s projects, came out with a serious chastisement of Monaghan and Ave Maria University’s leadership, for their support of The Jackson Lab’s proposed move to Ave Maria.

While this public opposition is taking place outside Ave Maria– the Catholic faculty at Ave Maria University, which includes physicists, economists, theologians, philosophers, priests– and other assorted proclaimed experts on Catholicism and moral issues—show no signs of public opposition to the welcoming of The Jackson Lab—and its  “workshops” and “resources” for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

Who will stop the Barbarians?

Nicholas J. Healy, Jr., president of Ave Maria University was actually quoted by the Naples Daily News as follows:

If they were to locate here I think there would be very considerable benefits to the entire area…”

Healy’s complete statements in the Naples Daily News can be read here.

As for Monaghan—there is no hope there.  He was quoted as saying “Go ahead with it” in the same Naples Daily News article cited above and is reported to have facilitated the land where The Jackson Lab plans to build.

On the editorial page of the Naples Daily News a quiet slogan appears, as follows:

“Give light and the people will find their own way.”

This light has not yet shone in the darkness of Ave Maria. 

I, as an army of one– will be waiting to meet the Barbarians.

♦ ♦ ♦

Marielena Montesino de Stuart

You may read about Marielena Montesino de Stuart’s observations and opinions through RenewAmerica, USAToday, Poynter Online, Spero News, The Naples Daily News, Les Femmes-The Truth, Culture War Notes,  ProLife Blogs, The Wanderer, etc.


TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:  Ave Maria University + The Jackson Laboratory + Workshops and Resources for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research + Eugenics + Margaret Sanger + Tom Monaghan + Tom Golisano +  Nicholas J. Healy Jr., President of AMU + Barron Collier Companies + The Ave Maria Stewardship Community District.

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NOTICE TO READERS: Marielena Montesino de Stuart and  do not disparage anyone’s motives at Ave Maria, Ave Maria University, including the administrators, faculty, staff and students,  Ave Maria entities, Ave Maria Town, the residents and property owners in Ave Maria, Barron Collier Co., as well as anyone doing business in, with, and for Ave Maria and any of its entities.  Nothing contained in The Chronicles of Ave Maria© or Divine Comedy©, or anywhere on this blog/website questions the commitment of all involved to what they genuinely see as the best interests of Ave Maria, Ave Maria University, Ave Maria entities, Ave Maria Town and Barron Collier Co.  Marielena Montesino de Stuart and concede this.