Friday, March 03, 2006

Look at me! Look at me!

Mom called this morning, outraged after seeing the Pizza Man, Thomas S. Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza, on the Today show interviewed by Katie Couric. Why the outrage? She's embarrassed at having to be associated with the "Catholic town" he's building near Naples, Florida, which won't allow contraceptives, pornography, or X-rated cable channels. I think I wouldn't be paraphrasing too much in quoting my mom here: "He's making us all look like a bunch of crazies!"

Not to worry, Mom, you're not the only one who's sent me this story, sensing perhaps that I needed a little noodge back to blog-world. And I've only got one real response: It's all about Tom.

That's right. Ave Maria, Florida, along with its namesake first-in-50-years Catholic university, is not about Jesus or Mary or the Catholic church, it's about the Pizza Man. Why else would he be going on every morning talk show, courting every major newspaper, to explain why he's so generously pledging $250 million to save America from itself. Monaghan is a guy with a big mouth and a bigger ego; unfortunately, he also has the pocketbook to match. Remember that line about not letting your left hand know what you're right hand is doing when you give alms--actually we just read it on Ash Wednesday! (Maybe Tom missed church that day.)

If Monaghan really wanted to do something great for anyone but himself, he might consider the L'Arche movement, a community founded by Jean Vanier in which people with mental illness and those who don't have mental illness live together and support one another. Usually, the "healthy" learn their pain runs just as deep as the "ill." Or how 'bout the Catholic Workers, who choose poverty for the sake of the poor, opening houses of hospitality catering to people who are homeless or who suffer drug addiction. Hell, why not just give the $250 million to tsunami victims?

You're right, Mom, it is embarrassing. Catholicism is not about government-mandated behavior control. And it's sure not about shameless self-promotion.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger samrocha said...

Hi! I linked over here on a blog search, you have a very cool blog and i share your catholic-liberal sensibilities… I also posted an article on the Monaghan issue in Florida, if you would like to check it out go to:

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous emjay said...

Glad to see that your blog is back! I missed my Catholic fix.

I wrote about Ave Maria, Florida today too, but with a different spin.

At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I am Bryan's Mom and the one who worries!!! I didn't mean I was for porn. I just think he is crazy if he thinks only Catholics are going to Heaven. Has he not heard of the "priests"? Where is he going to find the perfect priest for the perfect town? People are human with many flaws and I just do not see how making all of us look like nuts helps the Catholic Church.


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