Skip to comments.Man to build Catholics-only town
Posted on 02/27/2006 10:26:11 AM PST by annalex
Tom Monaghan, the founder of the Domino's Pizza chain, has stirred protests from civil rights activists by declaring that Ave Maria's pharmacies will not be allowed to sell condoms or birth control pills. The town's cable television network will carry no X-rated channels.
The town will be centred on a 30m tall oratory and the first Catholic university to be built in the US for 40 years.
The university's president, Nicholas J. Healy, has said future students should "help rebuild the city of God" in a country suffering from "catastrophic cultural collapse".
Monaghan, 68, sold his takeaway chain in 1998 for an estimated $1.5 billion.
A devout Catholic who has ploughed millions into religious projects - including radio stations, primary schools and a Catholic law faculty in Michigan - Monaghan has bought about 2000ha previously used by migrant farmers.
The land on the western edge of the Everglades swamp will eventually house up to 30,000 people, with 5000 students living on the university campus.
Florida officials have declared the project a development bonanza for a depressed area and Governor Jeb Bush attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the university earlier this month.
Civil rights activists and other watchdogs concerned about the separation of church and state are threatening lawsuits if Ave Maria attempts to enforce Catholic dogma - none of which has deterred Monaghan, who initially tried to build his new university in Michigan but could not get permission.
Asked recently about possible lawsuits in Florida, he replied: "That's great. That would be the best publicity we could get."
Monaghan was sent to a Catholic orphanage with his brother James after the death of their father on Christmas Eve 1941. After serving with the US Marines and later dropping out of university, he founded Domino's in 1960 with his brother, who sold back his share for a Volkswagen Beetle.
Monaghan then set about building what became America's second-largest pizza chain. He collected antique cars, bought a yacht and became the owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball team.
About 15 years ago he read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. "That was a big turnaround," he said recently. "I decided to simplify my life. No more airplanes, no more yachts. It's been a big relief."
Sources close to the project said Monaghan was particularly disturbed by what he regards as the failure of Western civilisation to resist Islamic fundamentalism. In a speech to students last year Healy warned that Islam "no longer faces a religiously dynamic West".
From The Sunday Times
Depends on state law, I guess. IIRC, only a small percentage of states treat sexual orientation as a protected category. There is no federal protection for sexual orientation that I am aware of.
The other things he proposes, such as banning the sale of contraceptives, can probably done so long as they are put in deed restrictions by the developer and not imposed by whatever city council will eventually run this place.
Not sure how he could keep pornography out. He cannot prevent people from getting satelite dishes, for example.
Additionally he founded and funded a nation wide anti-pornography entity.
He also appeared before the House committee on Savings and Loans where he pointed out the pitfalls of the government insuring home loans by less than financially secure lending institutions. In essence they told him to go fly a kite.
He donated large sums of money to pay for appearances by Pope John Paul II as well as Mother Theresa in Phoenix.
And then one fine day some reporters asked him if the reason he gave large contributions to the Senators from Arizona was to get access to them,he replied (this is paraphrasing) ":of course, I am the largest employer(?)in Arizona and there are times when I need to talk to the Senators about how laws and regulations will eventually effect their constituents,access is the driving force behind campaign contributions".
You would have thought that he had said he rectally examined his employees at the end of the day to be sure they weren't smuggling out secrets or supplies,the reporters were stunned it seems. Whatever,that was the signal to "get him" and get him they did. They went after him,his businesses and his family and some really unspeakable things happened that were terrible.
Please understand that I am sure that he did sequence some things predicated on the existing rules of the game that were less than above board but had the rules and practices used by most of the big "elite" power players been in effect for him,all of those greedy complainers they hauled up to testify would have been satisfied. Instead the beneficiaries were that select group of people that the RTC offered his property to for cents on the dollar,not to mention all of the big government,self righteous do-gooders and immoral purveyors of porn and sex that couldn't wait to get this pesky thorn out of their sides.
Because of seeing first hand how the sharks attack good men I worry about this plan of the pizza man. However,I will pray for him and ask everyone I know to pray for him and as we all know prayer is ever efficacious.
Is he any relation to Karl Keating of the Catholic Answers Live?
It's not illegal becasue he (they) will own the land.
It's not illegal for the Amish to live in their communities so why would it be illegal for Catholics to do the same?
Also what about the private condo and gated communities that have applications for prospective residents? They also specify behavior and other restrictions.
I think it's an intriguing idea, but the scale is too ambitious. Big enterprises make big targets in my view. The scale of this is going to attract problems in and of itself.
While I do hope this works out, I don't think I would want to live there.
Interestingly enough, Florida had a "Catholics only" town in the late 19th century. The town of San Antonio, near St. Leo's (home of the Benedictine abbey and university of that name), was founded by a wealthy individual as a place for Catholics to come and live, rear their kids in a Christian environment with a Catholic school in town, etc. The idea eventually faded away, and while the town with its central square remains, the only sign that it was once Catholic seems to be the large display of Nativity scenes the residents put up every year.
St. Leo's, of course, is still there and doing just fine. Both are in central Florida, probably an hour and a half or so from Ave Maria.
Yes, if you do a search on FR for Ave Maria -- there are many threads going back several years.
Don't have time to do it now since my car just died and I am debating myself about what to do.
Covenants against selling homes to people because of their race or religion have been illegal for almost 60 years. He could not force his buyers to refuse to sell to non-Catholics.
[I]n 1565, Pedro Menedez de Aviles placed a small wooden cross in Floridas soil and founded the Mission of Nombre de Dios. The beginnings of Christianity in this new land led to numerous missions throughout Florida and, eventually, to the flourishing of the faith that we celebrate throughout this country. The Great Cross is a tribute to that growth. It serves to remind the visitor of Christs ultimate sacrifice on the Cross, as well as the role played by the Catholic religion in the history of both Florida and our Nation.
I have not seen anything that suggest a religious test for residence, and I suspect that would be illegal under various civil rights statutes.
As you know there is nothing in Catholic moral theology that disagrees with the Orthodox Church, although the Catholics tend to adopt a more legalistic approach than, perhaps, the Orthodox.
I think its more about the laws than the legalisticness, but even in doctrinal thelogy there's not much (something, and something tangible but not much) which separate Catholic and Orthodox.
Looking at the website, they make it clear that any race, religion, or ethnicity is welcome. I think anyone willing to live under the community rules would have no problem buying a house there. It will be interesting to see the makeup of the community once it is completed and again after a decade or so. I think initially at least it will be majority Catholic, based on the university.
I think the law get more complex when we're talking about designated private communities.
It IS funny how hyper-concerned we get over the legalities of it all when it's Catholics and a private relgious community we're talking about..and not some liberal, selective, "artist community" subsidized with city funds for attracting the coveted "creative people."
Anyways, my guess is this is all probably moot because the website for the development does not mention any restrictions on who can live there.
How often do the Amish sell their land? I bet for the most part it is passed down from generation to generation via inheritance.
...or so I can invade one of those designated "artist-only" condos where their candidates are selected by a board.
Occupation is not a protected class, religion is.
It must be good as the ACLU is suing him.
He sold Dominos. Yeas ago.
This is not a "Catholics only" town. Anyone can live there.
What's he going to require? A letter from your bishop stationg whether you are a paying, committed Catholic?
Tom Monaghan is building a college. Oh, and by the way, he is using the help of developers who donated the land around the university. and THEY are building the town.
There were problems with Ypsilante,Michigan town leaders who did not want the college in the place he wanted it. So off he went to Naples, Florida. With MANY hard feelings toward the man. He promised many good professors a great job when he opened Ave Maria College. So they moved their families only to find out that they were out of a job if they wouldn't move again to Florida.
Oh brother! Just Google Ave Maria College and you are sure to find plenty! What a mess....