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Marquette Leaders Response or No Response to An Open Letter to Marquette University

Dialog or Debate, Garden of Resistance or Peace Garden?


  1. For a number of years Fr. Wild S.J., president of Marquette University, said there was “no dialog possible” on the issue of MU hosting the military.
  2. In September, 2007 Fr. Wild, when we asked him if the “War in Iraq is a Just War” said to the news media via a third party: “The university is a place where the question of what constitutes a just war can be debated freely and respectfully. But ultimately, that decision rests with our elected leaders.”
  3. After the forum on the Iraq war during ‘mission week’ in 2007 last year Fr. Wild told us that “we must agree to disagree” on this issue.
  4. Last summer Fr. Wild wrote us that he would not debate anyone on this issue of ROTC at MU but, as he said earlier through his representative, would be open to such a debate on campus.


  1. On Sept. 30, 2008 Bob Graf wrote an email to Fr. Wild, Stephanie Russell and Fr. Simon with 2 suggestions. There was NO response.
  2. A few weeks letter Bob wrote An Open Letter to Marquette University Leaders with the same two suggestions. They were for a “debate”, that Fr. Wild had twice said he was open to on campus on the moral issue of MU hosting the military, and for a garden of resistance at MU.
  3. To this open letter Fr. Simon of MU’s Center for Peacemaking and Mrs. Russell, director of the office of mission and identity, both responded by email they would talk with each other about the suggestions and get back to Bob Graf.
  4. On October 30, 2008 you, Ms. LaJeunesse, secretary for Center for Peacemaking wrote: “Fr. Simon and Stephanie Russell met this morning and the Center for Peacemaking has decided to sponsor a debate next semester. We are looking for reasonable people on both sides who can clearly present their positions. Any suggestions would be helpful.”
  5. Bob responded asking for clarification of the debate subject and offering “reasonable people on both sides who can clearly present their positions.”
  6. There was no response until Bob wrote a response to Fr. Simon’s letter to editor of the Shepherd Express. Ms. LaJeunesse wrote: “Fr. Simon and Stephanie are planning a ‘dialog’ (emphasis mine) about the topic of ROTC on Marquette University’s campus that will take place next semester.” She also mentioned Father Simon “has found some individuals who are interested in a peace garden.”
  7. Bob Graf wrote back to Ms. LaJeunese with copies to Fr. Wild S.J., Father Simon S.J. and Stephanie Russell asking her to suggest that Father Simon S.J. call or write Bob directly since the communications were confusing. We have gone from no dialog, to a debate, to a dialog. We have moved with an offer to participate in debate format and resistance garden, to decisions being made without input from those resisting MU’s participation in an “illegal, immoral and unjust war” (Pope Paul John II) — one considered by Jesuit Salvadorian Martyer Father Ignacio Ellacuria S.J. to be a “mortal sin”. (

What will be our Response? Email:

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