Thank You For Teaching Without Ambiguity

By Thomas S. Monaghanm


Thomas S. Monaghan is foun­der of Domino’s Pizza and former owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise. Monaghan has founded Cath­olic organizations to support the Church, including Ave Maria University and School of Law, Ave Maria Radio, Legatus (Latin for “ambassador”) and the Thomas More Law Center.

Thank you for coming to the United States. Please receive this gesture of welcome from one who is looking forward to your visit with great hope.

At the very start of your pontificate, you threw open the doors of God’s mercy and invited us to encounter Christ’s love for us — His love which always meets us where we are in order to lift us to where He is. But this world poses many distractions from His love. Echoing Christ’s words, you have reminded us: “To whom much is given, much will be demanded.” Indeed, we are a nation which has been richly blessed and thus entrusted with great responsibility.

May your visit move us to rediscover the heart of discipleship: conformity to Christ. You have taught that through our daily encounter with Christ we can be “missionary disciples” sharing the joy of the Gospel to a nation in desperate need of God’s mercy. When a disciple is fully formed, Christ taught, he will be like his Master. As you know, in America we need mature, committed disciples to take co-responsibility for the Church.

In this International Year of the Family, you write: “The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis.” (Evangelium Gaudium, 66)

For almost two generations, our nation has been dismantling the foundational structure of marriage. Permissive divorce has attacked permanence. High tolerance for cohabitation, adultery and “serial monogamy” has attacked fidelity. Preoccupation with the romantic bliss of the adults, widespread use of artificial contraceptives and reliance upon abortion to terminate unwanted babies has displaced the former centrality of children. Now the Unit­ed States Supreme Court has dismissed the significance of gender in marriage. If gender is insignificant for marriage, can we protect the number? Is polygamy next? In contrast to all this, you hold up the gospel of the family. Thank you for being a herald of unwavering truth.

Students from Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, FL, walk to the National Mall to participate in the annual March for Life in Washington January 22, 2009 (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Students from Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, FL, walk to the National Mall to participate in the annual March for Life in Washington January 22, 2009 (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Your Holiness, your visit bears the fingerprints of Providence and is God-sent for such a time as this. Attacks on religious liberty threaten the freedom to proclaim your call to discipleship and the gospel of the family. The “free exercise of religion” is being reduced to a freedom to merely believe. Some government leaders would turn our fundamental confession, “Jesus is Lord,” into a mere private value, like a hobby rather than a public fact proclaimed that all must come to terms with. Faith is being compressed into merely a private matter.

But as you have exhorted us, “missionary disciples” cannot keep the gospel of the family to ourselves. We must teach and model God’s design for marriage and family life. Moral indignation can be turned into creative service. Our parishes can become field hospitals for those broken by the so-called sexual revolution.

Your Holiness, thank you for modeling a life not ordered to the pursuit of money, pleasure and power.

Thank you for calling us to be missionary disciples sharing the joy of the Gospel and turning our parishes into outposts of mercy, healing and instruction for the wounded. Thank you for teaching without ambiguity all that Christ has instructed, that the laity will be the lay faithful and take co-responsibility for the Church.

Your acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s call to be St. Peter in our midst causes me to be profoundly grateful.

I have the honor to be, Your Holiness,

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas S. Monaghanm

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