Can “The Exorcist” save Georgetown University?

The university just might need an exorcist — and the author of the blockbuster book and movie is doing his part:

Georgetown University alumni, students and others are preparing a canon law suit to be filed with the Archdiocese of Washington and the Vatican, seeking remedies “up to and including the possible removal or suspension of top-ranked Georgetown’s right to call itself Catholic or Jesuit in its fundraising and representations to applicants.”

The effort is being led by the distinguished Georgetown alumnus William Peter Blatty, who won an Academy Award for his screenplay and book The Exorcist and has been honored by Georgetown with its John Carroll Medal for alumni achievement.

Blatty is urging Georgetown alumni, students, parents, faculty and anyone associated with Georgetown to join the lawsuit at The website includes an inspiring letter by Blatty and a description of Georgetown’s historical ties to the Jesuits, the Washington Archdiocese and the Vatican.

Read more.


  1. Fascinating story. Given his celebrity status, this might get the ball rolling in the right direction.

    In plain terms, the issue is about “truth in advertising.” Either you are what you advertise yourself as being, or you’re not.

  2. OK, here we go:

    We have a Church wounded by revelations of sexual abuse and hypocrisy.

    We have an economy in which 16% of our fellow Americans are living in poverty, people have lost jobs and can’t find work as well as immigrants who need justice and our support.

    And this group, the Father King Society, supported by Georgetown alumnus, William Peter Blatty, the St. Joseph Foundation, and the Cardinal Newman Society, is asking for signatures AND I might add, money for a canon law suit that is obviously nothing more than a statement that may please those who have a vendetta against Georgetown and will go nowhere (Frivolous lawsuit?)

    Something is amiss! It boggles my mind!

  3. Blatty’s letter, if you read it, did not sound at all like him. He is 84 years old now, of course. And time is a thief. But I couldn’t help but wonder if he were truly the author of that screed against the institution that he loved for so long. And whether his judgment has begun to fail him.

  4. Oregon Catholic says:

    It’s interesting that we are seeing lay Catholics doing what bishops won’t.

  5. What is to stop people of faith from going around campus and sprinkling blessed salt and holy water while reciting the Prayer to St. Michael? I would do it if I lived in the area. I walk around my neighborhood from time to time, sprinkling holy water towards all of the homes, lifting up each household up to God for peace and His blessing. Be not afraid!

  6. ted christy says:

    And let Georgetown’s hypocrisy go unchallenged? Georgetown been dancin with devil far too long and this is long overdue. Focus should be on elimination of infanticide, not accommodation.

  7. This is a BAD idea, who’s time hasn’t come. In fact, it’s patently silly on it’s face. WHAT does it accomplish? Plus, the bishops have a lot more to worry about than a speech.

  8. Midwestlady says:

    Pol, which is a bad idea? The holy water or the canon law proceedings? They both sound rather interesting to me.

  9. You should add that the canon lawsuit is also supported by the Flat Earth Society and Society for Making the Catholic Church totally Irrelevant.

  10. Bill McGeveran says:

    Georgetown describes its Catholic and Jesuit identity on its website:

    It sounds like a reasonable description to me and a reasonable way, maybe the best way, but not the only way, of being a Catholic college or university. No doubt there are grounds for disagreeing with some things the school has done or failed to do, or even with aspects of its philosophy, and some Catholics might prefer to attend a different school. But I don’t agree with any pronouncement that would exclude Georgetown from being called Catholic.(As for running around sprinkling holy water, I cant imagine proposing such a thing.)

  11. To answer your question, at first I would’ve answered the suit, but upon further reflection, the holy water ans salt as well.

  12. It the the sound of tubular bells I hear?

  13. naturgesetz says:

    The statement doesn’t say anything wrong. But it never mentions the word “God,” and it never mentions that the university is lay run.


  1. [...] have his alma mater stripped of its Catholic affiliation and/or its leadership held to account (via Deacon Greg Kandra): Georgetown University alumni, students and others are preparing a canon law suit to be filed with [...]

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