Zaakirah Mujid (Video editor)
Syeda Saberi (News Editor)
Rumors of a split between St. Procopius Abbey and Benedictine University have been circulating for months, with neither side making a public announcement about what the future might be if, or when, such a split would occur.
“At this time, I am not able to announce anything about the relationship between St. Procopius Abbey and Benedictine University. We hope to say more in the near future,” stated Abbot Austin Murphy, St. Procopius Abbey.
The Candor has learned that tensions between the two entities is what is fueling discussions about a separation. Peter Huff, Chief Missions Officer at BenU, was able to talk in general terms about the direction of the university.
“Right now, we are involved in ongoing conversation about questions that really have no distinct answers, we know that the University will be Catholic in 5, 10, 15 plus years, we know the Abbey will be our partner and Monks will [be] on this campus, but exactly what that will look like, we don’t know,” said Huff. “I think it is safe to say that we [Benedictine] is opening up a new chapter now, rethinking how we are going to be an effective, inclusive Catholic University in the future.”
Almost all other higher ranked individual at the university or abbey have refused to publicly address the conversations that began early September of an impending split, as well as details of supposed legal issues between the university and its founder, the abbey.
One anonymous community member who states the split is happening, claims one reason dates back to tensions with a previous lawsuit. In 2015, members of St. Procopius Abbey brought a suit against the University for denying the members of the Abbey certain rights in approving Trustees and University Presidents.
The monks of St. Procopius Abbey founded Benedictine University in 1887. If the talks about a split between the founding body and the University are deemed to be true, it leaves many questions as to what the potential impact on students and staff may be.
Students who heard about a supposed separation brought up concerns including how this would affect the Benedictine values and Code of Conduct. Some wondered if IDS classes would still be mandatory and even questioned if the University would be Catholic in the distant future. One student who heard about the supposed legal issues questioned how much tuition money is being used to handle it.
“There will be some more definitive news in the future. I can’t comment on what’s happening, but it’s not going to affect any students,” assured Carol Allen, a staff member from Campus Ministry.
While many students and faculty have been claiming to know details about the supposed split and legal actions that are occurring, the University has yet to release an official statement to address this matter in detail.