Investigative reporter: Ave Maria, Florida – not really a Catholic Town

Ave Maria is not God’s town. It’s not a Catholic Town. It’s Tom Monaghan’s little theocracy, a mini-state governed by a man who regards himself as divinely guided.

The official religion practiced and promoted here by Tom Managhan, Nick Healy and the Ave Maria University administration is not traditional Catholicism but rather a Pentecostal-Charismatic fundamentalism with all the eccentricities and characteristics and dangers of a full-blown cult. The “Praise and Worship” services, Novos Ordo guitar Masses and bizarre healing services held at the Quasi-Parish of Ave Maria Oratory (the “healing services” were eventually banned inside the Oratory by the local Bishop) are not merely a variant on Catholicism, but a different religion altogether with a different theology of grace and salvation.

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