“I tell my relatives to send their teenage children to a secular college, where they will have to fight for their faith, rather than to a Catholic college where it will be stolen from them.” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1972)
UST graduate '08
The purpose is to
advise those with an interest in the
University of St. Thomas (UST)
1) Restoration of the Bylaws so that
the Archbishop of
Note: This is NOT a wholesale condemnation
of the University. There are good teachers at UST, Catholic and
non-Catholic, who respect the Catholic mission of the
university. Nor is this an attempt to demonize Fr. Dease, who
engages in laudable work such as his efforts to improve
In 1967, at the infamous Land O’ Lakes Conference, the administrations of many Catholic universities publicly arrogated the right to define, independent of the Church, what was meant by a Catholic education. In the name of “academic freedom,” they hired and promoted teachers, “Catholic” and non-Catholic, who were, to various degrees, hostile to the faith. These teachers undermined the faith of their students, who thought they were receiving a Catholic education. This deception is what prompted the above comment by the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
Pope John Paul
II also recognized that Catholic universities were depriving
students of their right to a Catholic education.
To correct this injustice, he in 1990 built on what was
already established in Canon Law (
For example, in 1991, the year Fr. Dease became president of the University of St. Thomas, the Conviction Statement of St. Thomas said:
It no longer says this.
The new de-Christianized version says:
It no longer says this. The new de-Christianized version says:
“We value intellectual inquiry as a life-long habit, the unfettered and impartial pursuit of truth in all its forms, the integration of knowledge across disciplines, and the imaginative and creative exploration of new ideas.”
Truth--- "in all its forms"?
And what happened to the "commitment to a life of worship
leading to active participation in the mission of Christ and the
Church to the world"?
Truth--- "in all its forms"? And what happened to the "commitment to a life of worship leading to active participation in the mission of Christ and the Church to the world"?
But the gravest threat to the University’s Catholic identity occurred in 2007, when the UST Board of Trustees changed the University’s long-standing Bylaws so that the Archbishop of the Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis would no longer automatically become Chairman of the Board of Trustees with the power to appoint the President of the University. These Bylaw changes, if not corrected, open the way to increasing secularization of St. Thomas in the future. This was done with the silent approval (Qui tacet consentiret) of Fr. Dease, who defended this changes saying, “The archbishop doesn’t have enough time.” Fr. Dease should have recognized the potential for these changes to undermine the Catholic identity of the university and opposed them. He did not. This changes defied the explicit admonition of Ex Corde Ecclesiae , which says:
Changing the Bylaws so that the Archbishop is not automatically Chairman of the Board, and removing his power to appoint the President, and putting the power to elect the chairman and the president in the hands of a largely secular board impairs the University’s ability to be “in close communion” with the bishop and undermines his ability “preserve and strengthen” its Catholic character. For more on this, see “Ominous Bylaw Changes” in the navigation panel at the left.
The preface to the University of St. Thomas' Mission Statement says that St. Thomas is a "Catholic diocesan university." If this is so, it needs to conform to the norms that regulate the governance of a Catholic university. Below are more comparisons of these norms and the corresponding behavior at St. Thomas:
|Norms||Infraction at St. Thomas|
"...the university should strive to recruit and appoint Catholic professors so that, to the extent possible, those committed to the witness of the faith constitute a majority of the faculty." Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities (Art IV, 4a)
"…we value the gay, lesbian
“All professors are expected
to be aware of and committed to the Catholic identity
and mission of their institutions. All professors
expected to exhibit… respect for Catholic doctrine.”
Application of Ex
2/3 of English Department
“Catholics who teach the
theological disciplines are required to have a
mandatum granted by a competent ecclesiastical
authority.” Canon Law #812
What you can do:
2. Write a polite letter to Fr. Dease asking for restoration
of the Bylaws and a recommitment to
3. Students or parents who believe they have been defrauded and want their money back should contact the Business Office: JoAnn B. Ott, 651 962-6607, or firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Students may want to take classes elsewhere: [Click on this link.]
5. Pray for the
6. DO NOT CONTRIBUTE until the Bylaws are changed.
Contribute instead to the Archdiocese of Minneapolis & St. Paul
226 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55102
7. Tell others, especially alumni and those who are thinking
8. If you know a Trustee, contact this individual about this problem and ask him or her to bring this matter up at a Board meeting. A list of the trustees is here: [Click on this link.] http://www.stthomas.edu/administration/board/default.html