Benedictine University hopes for expedient resolution to internal dispute

June 23, 2015

Benedictine University was notified on Monday, June 22 that the monks of St. Procopius Abbey have filed a lawsuit against the Benedictine University Board of Trustees regarding the monks' dissatisfaction with the University’s by-laws. The current bylaws, which were adopted by the trustees in 2002, were in fact approved by the then-acting abbot and the monks of St. Procopius Abbey. Since that time, the abbot, and his vote, represents the Abbey and its members on all matters put before the University's board.

Benedictine University greatly respects and values the partnership we have had and continue to have with the monks of St. Procopius Abbey. In the nearly 40 years since the first lay president took office, the by-laws have been amended as needed over the years with involvement and approval of the Abbey monks.

Benedictine is a family and as such is not immune to disagreements. The University leadership respects the monks and their ecclesiastical position and has a mutual desire to resolve any disagreements internally. However, we are disappointed the monks of St. Procopius Abbey have chosen to find resolution of ecclesiastical disputes through the press and to file a civil lawsuit against the individual Trustees instead of continuing internal dialogue with University leadership. In fact, despite months of productive discussions, the monks terminated all meetings in May of this year and refused the Trustees' further attempts to mediate these disputes privately.

The University has been operating in good faith for years under the current by-laws. The by-laws have been non-controversial with prior abbots. The only change in recent years has been that of leadership within St. Procopius Abbey and a different interpretation of the by-laws by that leadership.

Benedictine University hopes for an expedient resolution that holds the interests of the University and its students as the priority. We all desire to move forward as Benedictine fulfills its mission to prepare students for a lifetime as active, informed and responsible citizens and leaders in the world community.

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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in 59 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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