Fessio fired. (updated)
Grant Gallicho March 21, 2007 - 5:46pm
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 90minutes after a meeting of the new campus' senior staff, at which theuniversity's official statement (found below) was hammered out. Astanding-room crowd packed a hall that seats around 300, as universitypresident Nicholas Healy and other top officials offered theirreflections. As with the earlier demonstration, the crowd was largelypro-Fessio, with two standing ovations given the absent former provost-- the first of which came following a question from the audienceasking for his reinstatement.
A senior university official saidthat one crux of the "irreconcilable differences" cited as the reasonfor the requested resignation was a divergence on liturgical tastes;Healy and other top officials take their cue from the evangelicalCharismatic school of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (towhich they maintain close ties), while Fessio's crowd gravitated towarda 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 werehad 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.