A FORMER US marine who was raised by nuns and made a fortune selling Domino’s pizza has embarked on a €337m plan to build America’s first town to be run according to strict Catholic principles.
Abortions, pornography and contraceptives will be banned in the new Florida town of Ave Maria, which has begun to take shape on former vegetable farms 90 miles northwest of Miami.
Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan has stirred protests from civil rights activists by declaring Ave Maria’s pharmacies will not be allowed to sell condoms or birth control pills. Its cable television network will carry no X-rated channels.
The town will be centred around a 100ft tall oratory and the first Catholic university to be built in America for 40 years. The university’s president, Nicholas J Healy, says future students should "help rebuild the city of God" in a country suffering from "catastrophic cultural collapse."