Franciscan University president resigns after Church Militant pressure

National Catholic Reporter

April 16, 2019

By Jenn Morson

After months of pressure from the right-wing media organization Church Militant and its supporters, many of them parents of current students at Franciscan University of Steubenville as well as alumni of the Ohio school, Franciscan Fr. Sean Sheridan tendered to the Board of Trustees his resignation as president.

His resignation comes in the wake of a challenging academic year for Sheridan and the university. At a Mass opening the academic year, Sheridan delivered a homily that addressed the sexual abuse crisis in the church at large as well as at Franciscan University, where several incidents of abuse were mishandled and where it was revealed later in the year that credible allegations had been made against a well-known friar at the school.

The final straw, however, may have been controversy over assignment of a novel to a high-level literature seminar that conservatives found objectionable and that Church Militant picked up as a cause against Sheridan.

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