Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
I am befuddled. Why would those who built a Catholic University and ostensibly a Catholic town to surround it, actively recruit and assist a business that performs work antithetical to Catholic teaching to the area?
That seems to be exactly what is happening. Tom Monaghan and his development partners are actively recruiting Jackson Laboratory to the surrounding area and the University leadership is assisting.
I understand that luring a large bio-tech company into the area could be a boon to the town and to the university, but at what price? Through facts dug up at AveWatch.com, I must say there is enough evidence of Jackson Laboratory’s involvement in contraceptive research and embryonic stem cell research to raise serious concerns.
Jackson Labs own website boasts of its research into “better contraceptive methods.”
These are very serious issues. Ave Maria School of Law’s Dean and President, Eugene Milhizer’s recent assertion on a radio show that Jackson Lab’s practices are “consistent with the Catholic Church’s teaching on different life issues,” just do not seem to square with the facts.
These issues are too important to simply issue a statement that asserts ‘oh don’t worry we looked into it and everything is fine.” Catholics cannot roll over in cases such as these anymore.
According to Randy Engel at the National Coalition for Life, Monaghan sought advice on Jackson from the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and they raised no objection. That said, I don’t think that Monaghan, Baron Collier, or Ave Maria University can say that covers it. They all have an obligation to address the troubling statements on the Jackson Lab’s website and the other distressing questions raised by AveWatch.com.
They must directly address these concerns or pull the plug on Jackson. If they get this wrong, Monaghan’s whole vision for a Catholic University in a Catholic town will be forfeit.