Why SLU will likely back the Coach, not the Archbishop
In 2003, Jesuit St. Louis University (SLU) received an $8 million tax abatement to start building a sports arena. This annoyed the Masonic Temple Association, whose property abuts SLU. Arguing that a religious school should not receive government monies, the Association filed a federal lawsuit to block the abatement.
The case was ultimately dismissed, but not before exposing the utter shamelessness of Jesuit officials at the schools. To fend off the suit, they told a Missouri appellate court that SLU is "independent of the Catholic Church." Rich in depressing ironies, the case in essence pitted Masons arguing, if only opportunistically, that the school is (and should be) Catholic against Jesuits who argued that it is not.
The Masonic Temple noted that the school's bylaws state that it will be "publicly identified as a Catholic university and a Jesuit university." So what? responded officials at SLU, who provided evidence that the school hasn't taken Catholicism seriously for years.
"Whatever its status in the past, Saint Louis University is not now controlled by any creed," read SLU's brief. SLU cited as an example of its "autonomy" from the Church that it pays no attention to the local bishop, such as the time it ignored former St. Louis Cardinal Justin Rigali's objections to its 1998 sale of the school's hospital.
TO PARAPHRASE Robert Bolt's Thomas More, it profits the Jesuits nothing to give their soul for the whole world, much less Chaifetz Arena and Rick Majerus. This latest controversy at SLU is the inevitable collision of a habitually bombastic coach, his secularized Jesuit patrons, and a principled archbishop tired of the school's fraud.
For the entire story, click here to read this archived article.