Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hypocritical Pagans with Money Remove Archbishop Flynn as Ex-Officio Chairman of the St. Thomas Board

One very upbeat moment during the plenary session came when the board saluted Archbishop Harry Flynn for his leadership as chairman since 1995. The board presented him with a framed certificate of appreciation that said: "Champion of Catholic higher education and model of servant leadership, intellectual and moral courage, you exemplify caritas, the greatest of all Christian virtues. You do us honor, and we thank you."

Implementing a process the Board Affairs Committee began last February, the board also elected Archbishop Flynn to a five-year term as chairman of the board after making appropriate changes to the university's bylaws which heretofore had stipulated that the ordinary (head) of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis serve ex officio as chairman. University of St. Thomas Bulletin

Do you suppose that Archbishop Flynn will place that framed "certificate of appreciation (and by the way, don't mess with us in the future)" in a prominent location?

The money guys who make the decisions at the University of St Thomas have gotten their way. They have noted how Harvard and Yale and Holy Cross and DePaul and the vast majority of the Catholic colleges and universities have told their bishops to "stick it", and they want to do that too.

They removed St. Albert the Great's name from one of their buildings. How long will it be before they remove St. Thomas Aquinas' name from the institution.

Hey, you folks with money, but not as much as the trustees, if you want to give money to a Catholic school, why not check out the Cardinal Newman Society's list of Catholic schools that teach Catholicism?

It's too bad that Catholics don't believe in reincarnation of humans; we could use an Archbishop John Ireland, the founder of St. Thomas these day.


Fr. Andrew said...

You could also urge people to support Catholic Studies under Dr. Don Briel. That is an outstanding aspect of UST striving to change the campus on the level of the students. For those who are unfamiliar- check out their website .

Show your approval by showing support.

Anonymous said...

I think that the chief point is not that Archbishop Flynn is being relegated to a quiet retirement; rather, it is that his successor, Archbishop Nienstedt, is being by-passed.

This appears to be the real meaning of the changes to the by-laws of the University removing the references to the ordinary being ex officio the chair of the board. Now the ordinary does not have a role on the board at all; rather, for the next 5 years at least, it will be Archbishop Flynn who will be the chair.

The same thing is being with regard to the vice-chair, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, currently Fr. Kevin McDonough.

This could be seen as an attempt to neutralize the role of Archbishop Nienstedt.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous. I think they made the change to the bylaws as a way to take Archbishop Nienstedt out of the loop. I imagine they were terrified that he might make them adhere to Catholic teachings.

swissmiss said...

St. Thomas called me THREE times in the past month asking for donations. My graduating class paid for the updates to Murray Hall (Student Union) back when and now the Andersons are getting their name on the new Student Union being built across campus. I was irked when they renamed Albertus Magnus Hall as John Roach Center. Shook my head when they heckled and chastised the commencement speaker. Recently, the Tutu Boo Boo and the Handmaid's Tale. Now, kicking the Archbishop to the curb. The list of reasons to not send my kid here is really getting lengthy.

Terry Nelson said...

I just pulled both Agnes and Celine's applications from UST.

Unknown said...

Fr. Andrew: I'll check up on that Catholic Studies program. I'm sure that there are some good programs there. And with the two seminaries based there, and they are in great shape, theologically, these days, that would be good evidence.

Unknown said...


I totally agree with your take on the situation. Had I had more time yesterday morning I would have elaborated, but you did a nice succinct summary. And I missed the part that reported that Father Kevin McDonough, the Vicar General, lost his "birthright" also.

The worst part of the situation is the slimy way that Father Dease announced it to the world in the middle of his Board Meeting report.

And introducing it with the smarmy, hypocritical announcement of the "Certificate of Appreciation" for Archbishop Flynn before they took his episcopal privilege away, makes me want to throw up.

St. Thomas was one of only eight "Catholic" colleges in the country that considered themselves to be under the jurisdiction of a diocesan bishop: St. Ambrose University (Davenport, Iowa), Carroll College (Helena, Mont.), Gannon University (Erie, Pa.), Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa), Seton Hall University (South Orange, N.J.), University of St. Thomas (Miami, Fla.), University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minn.) and University of Dallas (Dallas, Texas). They met at Loras in a small room in the Summer of 2006 and I reported on that fact in Stella.

There seems to be only seven now.

It was a well known fact that influential ("rich") board members were pressuring Father Dease to change the board's structure before Archbishop Nienstedt would take over by right next May (or whenever the Pope finally approves Archbishop Flynn's retirement request).

They have raised a lot of money in recent years and don wonders with a new law school and business school. They wanted badly to start a medical school also, but when they heard that Archbishop Nienstedt wasn't particularly partial to an alliance with Allina, an abortion provider (that didn't make the papers, did it?), they found some excuses to cancel the med school proposal.

Watch it reappear next year, with Allina at the helm.

Thank God for Msgr. Callaghan, Father Baer and apparently Dr. Don Briel of the Catholic Studies Program. There are some Catholic aspects to St. Thomas still.

But the powers that be at UST still look at those ex-seminaries, Harvard and Yale, and envy their independence from "the higher power" as probably it is referred to these days in the Ivy League.

Pray for St. Thomas and all its good faculty, staff, students and alumni.