Fessio fired. (updated)
The following e-mail went out to the Ave Maria University community this afternoon:
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.
Update: Rocco is all over this:
The hourlong general session of faculty and students took place 90
minutes after a meeting of the new campus’ senior staff, at which the
university’s official statement (found below) was hammered out. A
standing-room crowd packed a hall that seats around 300, as university
president Nicholas Healy and other top officials offered their
reflections. As with the earlier demonstration, the crowd was largely
pro-Fessio, with two standing ovations given the absent former provost
– the first of which came following a question from the audience
asking for his reinstatement.
A senior university official said
that one crux of the “irreconcilable differences” cited as the reason
for the requested resignation was a divergence on liturgical tastes;
Healy and other top officials take their cue from the evangelical
Charismatic school of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (to
which they maintain close ties), while Fessio’s crowd gravitated toward
a more solemn manner of ritual. The Jesuit’s Latin Masses — Novus Ordo, celebrated ad orientem
– were reported to have drawn large crowds, while similar crowds were
had for monthly Healing Masses celebrated by priest-in-residence Fr. Richard McAlear, a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Are divergent liturgical tastes really to blame for the dismissal? What else?
Update 2: This site, regretably run by an anonymous reporter, hosts a lot of information on the travails of Ave Maria University.
Update 3: Apparantly Fessio is being brought back on board. If true, this is bizarre. And amateurish.