MILWAUKEE (AP) Marquette University, a Jesuit school, has ended a weekly Roman Catholic Mass at its new dental school to avert any claims that the practice violated the separation of church and state.
The $35 million dental school was constructed using $15 million from the state and $5 million from the federal government, according to Ben Tracy, a Marquette spokesman.
''This is simply about the building,'' Tracy said. ''Obviously, at Marquette we have places that have Mass on campus. The distinction here is that we've decided it's not appropriate to have it in this particular building because of the issues involved in public funding.''
The university won the public funding because it runs the only dental school in Wisconsin and educates the majority of the state's dentists.
The chief legal counsel for the state Department of Administration, John Rothschild, contacted Marquette after learning about the Mass, which was discontinued as of Aug. 28.
''We would have looked into the facts of what was going on,'' Rothschild said, ''but they said they wouldn't continue at this point.''
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