Jul 21, 2009 / 22:23 pm
Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, the founder of Ignatius Press and a former student of Pope Benedict, has been fired from his position as theologian in residence at Ave Maria University. The action reportedly was taken because he criticized the administration’s handling of the school’s finances.
In a Monday letter, Fr. Fessio said that Dr. Jack Sites, Academic Vice President of Ave Maria University (AMU), had flown into San Francisco for an “amicable” Monday meeting with the priest to inform him that he was being dismissed.
Fr. Fessio said the dismissal stemmed from a November 2008 conversation Fr. Fessio had with Jack Donohue, who was then chairman of the board of AMU. According to Fr. Fessio, he told Donohue about the “urgency” of the university’s financial situation.
“I told him that there were policies being followed that were at the root of the problem, that the present administration was irrevocably wedded to those policies, and that without a change of administration the university was at great risk.”