Thursday, March 02, 2006

Naples in the news

NAPLES, Fla. — If Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan has his way, a new town being built in Florida will be governed according to strict Roman Catholic principles, with no place to get an abortion, pornography or birth control.

Calling it “God’s will,” Tom Monaghan, the devout Catholic who founded Domino's Pizza and is now bankrolling most of the initial $400 million cost of the project, Ave Maria is the culmination of a lifetime devoted to spreading his own strict interpretation of Catholicism. Though he says nonbelievers are welcome, Monaghan clearly wants the community to embody his conservative values.

Civil libertarians, however, contend the plan is unconstitutional and are threatening to sue.

The town of Ave Maria is being constructed around Ave Maria University, the first Catholic university built in the United States in about 40 years. Both are set to open next year about 25 miles east of Naples in southwestern Florida.

He has said that in his community, stores will not sell pornographic magazines, pharmacies will not carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will have no X-rated channels.

Discussing his life as a millionaire Catholic who puts his money where his faith is, Monaghan says: "I believe all of history is just one big battle between good and evil. I don't want to be on the sidelines."

Gov. Jeb Bush, at the groundbreaking last month, lauded the development as a new kind of town where faith and freedom will merge to create a community of like-minded citizens.

Frances Kissling, president of the liberal Washington-based Catholics for a Free Choice, likened Monaghan’s concept to Islamic fundamentalism.

“This is un-American,” Kissling said. “I don’t think in a democratic society you can have a legally organized township that will seek to have any kind of public service whatsoever and try to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens.”

In an area of strip malls and bad traffic, Ave Maria's communal design—with shops within walking distance to the homes—has civic appeal. "The general buzz is that the university and town are going to be a spark plug for massive development in that area," says Michael Reagen, president of the Naples Chamber of Commerce.

Even the pope is interested.

To read more go HERE


MOM said...

Interesting. Can you live there as long as you abide by the moral code or do you have to be Catholic?

samrocha said...

To mom, yes it I believe so i read it in another article...

Hi! I linked over here on a blog search, you have a cool blog… I also posted an article on the Monaghan issue in Florida, if you would like to check it out go to:

Iz said...

For my own view, this would sure blur the line between church and state. (religion and gov't). To detractors, how is this community different than the scores of nudist colonies in FL? Why be all up in arms about Catholics wanting to live in likemindedness with their neighbors when nudists are everywhere in FL doing the same thing? Just a question...

Anonymous said...

Someone has posted cool video tours of the new town at they seem to have been filmed by a person taking the trolley tour offered by Pulte Home.

Anonymous said...

Someone has posted cool video tours of the new town at Naples Daily Photos they seem to have been filmed by a person taking the trolley tour offered by Pulte Home. Forgot the tags before.

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