Seriously? I thought this must be a headline from The Onion.

But no.  This headline is real:

Georgetown Chooses Sebelius for Commencement

Details, from the university:

This afternoon, Georgetown announced the speakers for each school’s commencement address. Here is the list:

David Simon, creator of the critically acclaimed television dramas “The Wire” and “Treme” will be speaking to the College.

Dr. Mark Green, senior director of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and former ambassador to Tanzania is the speaker for the School of Nursing & Health.

Ela R. Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association, the largest union in India, and a consultant for UNICEF, will address the School of Foreign Service.

Tim O’Shaughnessy (B ’04), CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial will be speaking to the McDonough School of Business.

The speaker for the senior convocation is Helen O’Really (F ’03), current judicial clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

List of speakers for other Georgetown schools:

  • Dr. Helen Neville, director of the Brain Development Laboratory and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience will be addressing the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
  • Barry Salzberg, global chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited will be speaking to the MBA program.
  • Scott Case, founding chief technology officer of Priceline along with inventor of dozens of U.S. patents, is the speaker for the School of Continuing Studies.
  • Dr. Michael Zasloff, nationally recognized cardiologist who studies immunity at the Surgical Immunology Transplant Institute at the Georgetown Medical Center and Dr. Ross Fletcher, chief of staff at the Washington DC VA Medical Center will address the Medical School.
  • The Georgetown Law speaker is Arthur J. Gajarsa (L ’67), judge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • James J. O’Donnell, Georgetown’s provost will speak at the closing ceremonies at the School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
  • Louis J. Freeh, director of the FBI from 1993-2001will be speaking at the ROTC commissioning ceremony.
  • Former governor of Kansas and current secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, will be addressing the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.
  • Sri Mulyani Indrawat, an Indonesian economist, and Alexander Graff Lambsdorff (G ‘93), a German politician and member of the European Parliament will address the Masters of the School of Foreign Service.

FWIW footnote: I went to college with David Simon.  When I knew him, 35 years ago, he was a 98-pound chain-smoking bearded long-haired beer-swilling creative genius who wrote kick-ass rock-and-roll concert reviews for the University of Maryland student newspaper, The Diamondback.  I was the features editor, struggling not to flunk out of journalism school because I spent all my time at the newspaper office instead of the classroom.  David went on to work for the Baltimore Sun and create classic TV shows like “Homicide” and “The Wire.”  I went to work for CBS News and the pope.

Life is funny.

Anyway…back to the matter at hand…it would nice if Georgetown were kidding.

But something tells me they’re not.


  1. There is a petition on the Cardinal Newman Society web site, asking Georgetown to withdraw the invitation to Sebelius. The link is below:

  2. Georgetown’s School of Public Policy has invited a Cabinet Secretary to speak. Good. I’m glad to see they’re doing right by their students, and that Georgetown is a real university.

  3. midwestlady says:

    Then let them drop the pretense of being Catholic and stop using the Church to recruit students. Let them play on the same playing field with the big secular colleges and we’ll see how “real” they are.

  4. What in the body of work of any of that end of the Catholic world – the America-Georgetown-Commonweal-BC-Biden-Some-Bishops – world – would lead you to think that they’re kidding? None of those people or publications would have a bit of trouble with Sibelius. I promise, they are all clinking glasses and guffawing on this Fun Friday Night on how the Right-Wingers are probably messing their pants because of this.

    Here’s the question – the salient question. It was this very school – the Public Policy School – that Ryan spoke to, a talk in the wake of which, Tom Reese went on Colbert to unload on the un-Catholicity of Paul Ryan.

    Will he be doing the same regarding Sibelius’ speech?

    Wanna take bets?

  5. I’ll tell you what’s funny (not ha-ha funny): I didn’t know that Georgetown was a Catholic university.

  6. This boneheaded move takes GU & tone deaf to a whole new level.

  7. “Seriously? I thought this must be a headline from The Onion.”

    why? I think this is par for the course. GT is pro-choice and so is Sebilius

  8. naturgesetz says:

    There was never a question that Georgetown is a real university. The suggestion that there might be any question about it is insulting in the extreme to the university, and the suggestion that inviting Sebelius could somehow prove that it is, is ridiculous.

  9. naturgesetz says:

    The only small consolation I draw — as one who graduated from Georgetown back when it upheld the Faith — is that she isn’t the main commencement speaker.

  10. Perhaps it is the Zaccheus strategy? God is full of surprises, having used every loser, no-good and seemingly worthless character under the sun, since time began, for redemptive purposes. I’m not defending their decision, but honestly – you just never know.

  11. These days, any decision that tweaks the self-importance of the Temple Police is a laudable one.

    Pope John Paul II invited Anthony Bevilacqua and Bernard Law into the College of Cardinals. There’s an association that might have its Catholic identity cast into doubt.

  12. naturgesetz says:

    When you started commenting here you seemed like a serious observer of the church scene. This inapposite red herring unmasks you as one who just looks for any weapon to use to bash the hierarchy.

    BTW, when the grand jury issued their report saying that Cardinal Law hadn’t done anything indictable, there was an appendix showing the level of sexual abuse by priests. Before he arrived in Boston in 1985, there were on average about 27 instances occurring per year. From 1985 through 1992, the level fell to approximately 10 per year. 1993 through 2000 saw about 4 per year. After 2000 up to the issuance of the report there were no reported cases. (The dates refer to when the event occurred, not when it was reported.) The problem was solved on his watch, and apparently as a result of his policies: psychological treatment of abusers during the first 8 years, and thereafter a review board with lay participation — whose recommendations he followed. I learned of this correlation from the deacon who reviewed the archdiocesan files on abusers. Of course ten per year is ten too many, buts it’s an improvement over 27. Four per year is four too many, but it’s a lot better than 27 or 10. But it’s hard to improve on zero per year.

  13. If Sibilius should speak against matters of faith and morals in her commencement remarks, then perhaps “those who are among the faithful” will be prompted to stand up and leave as a testament to the Faith and as disciples of Jesus. Faith in action, bearing witness…be unafraid!

  14. Oregon Catholic says:

    …and satan laughs as the Church divides and dismantles itself from within.

  15. Sean Gallagher says:

    As I commented on FB, I think that what Georgetown has done is like a Catholic school in the early 1530s in England asking Thomas Cromwell or Richard Rich to speak at their graduation ceremony. St. Edmund Campion, pray for us.

  16. So, do think it’s wrong of Georgetown to invite Sibelius, an act comparable to inviting abuser-protecting clerics?

    I agree – too bad you just can’t say, “It’s wrong for Georgetown to invite Sibelius.”

  17. Fiergenholt says:


    I assume that you are being serious here and not “snarky.”

    The reason I mention this is that there are certainly over twenty Jesuit colleges and universities here in the United States. A few of them — Holy Cross in Massachusetts; Loyola Universities in Maryland, Chicago and in New Orleans; Wheeling Jesuit in West Virginia; Xavier in Cincinnati, John Carroll in Cleveland, and Saint Joseph in Philadelphia come to mind — have names where their Catholic heritage can be readily detected by an everyday American.

    It might be hard to detect from their public names the rest of them whether they are even Catholic much less Jesuit: Marquette; Creighton; San Francisco; Seattle; Spring Hill; Boston College; Detroit; Fairfield; Canisius; Fordham; Gonzaga; Le Moyne; Regis; Rockhurst; Saint Louis; Santa Clara; Seattle; Scranton; and of course Georgetown.

    Seems to me that is quite a heritage of higher education!

  18. Notgiven says:

    Here we go again!

  19. If Georgetown University is inviting Secretary Sibelius to address a professional area of competence, I think it entirely appropriate. I’m disinclined to think she should be honored in a broad way, but to give an address on public policy–I have no problem with her drawing a stipend from the university for services rendered.

    While her actions in carrying out her job are distasteful to some, she has not indulged in grave sin that any of you are qualified to judge. At worst, she is a bystander to the poor choices others are permitted to make without legal penalty. That’s lamentable and unfortunate. But it’s no different from many other struggling Catholics in the world.

  20. Not terribly different, it would seem, from those who look for any weapon to bash higher education.

    As for the cardinals, the problem is less with the number of abusers for whom they were responsible, but the number of dangerous career moves that were permitted on their watch. Catholics would certainly be inclined to forgive a bishop for several one-time-offenders who were bounced from public ministry, but far less one priest who preyed on victims in several assignments.

    These scandals impact Catholic identity far more than a department post-graduation gathering which is often skipped by any number of graduates and school officials. This is the narcissism and self-indulgence of the Catholic Right.

  21. You’re sweet, Todd.

    Very thoughtful guy.

    So, you’d be good with a Catholic institution inviting a “struggling Catholic” who supports torture or capital punishment and has spent their lives in public service (“struggling Catholics,” remember! We’re struggling!) single-mindedly trying to, say, broaden the United States’ use of torture and capital punishment, using their office to mainstream the use of torture against enemy combatants or broaden the applications of the electric chair or lethal injection? So if Notre Dame invited such a policymaker, deeply devoted to the causes of broadening the acceptance of these practices in the United States and striking down laws and policies that might restrict them, you be all, “Yeah..struggling Catholic..not qualified to judge..” and all casual about it?

  22. Bill Kelly says:

    Now you know what is wrong with the young people coming out of college, not just at Georgetown but everywhere. Think about the baby killer President speaking at Notre Dame. Shame on the so called “Catholic” colleges. They are letting down the students, parents and most of all God Himself.

  23. Why wasn’t Law indicted?
    Massachusetts didn’t have a mandatory reporting law at the time , so the cardinal was under no legal obligation to come forward with information about sexual abuse of children by priests he’d supervised.

    Most of us must sadly accept that a small number of very sick people will- given the opportunity – sexually abuse Children. We must do everything in our power to stop it. And yes these predators are found in almost every profession or religion or place in society.

    The issue in Boson – and with Law – is what I call ” the sin of the chancery”. It is the systematic COVER UP and REASSIGNMENT of child predator priests to places and ministries in contact with Children. It is the reading and hearing the graphic and sickening testimony of men and woman raped by Priests, and assuring the victims that ” Father so and so would never be in a position to do it ever again” and the politicians in the chancery doing just the opposite because protecting clerical careers or reputations was more important then protecting children.

    What if, instead of child rape, the Father Geoghan had been caught stealing from the collection plate. Does anyone seriously believe Law would have reassigned him anywhere near the control of money?

    Even if the number of cases declined, the issue is Law didn’t protect the victims. At some point he will have to answer for this.

  24. I hoped this was a joke too. I expect people are giving whomever arranged this too much credit in imagining elaborate strategies or conspiracies at work. It seems to me that one word sums this up: DUMB. I expect folks at Georgetown to be smarter than this.

  25. No, I wasn’t being snarky. I’m serious. I do know of many Catholic colleges and universities. I even attended Creighton for a short time. But for some reason, I didn’t realize Georgetown is Catholic.

  26. Thank you, Joe. Morality is more than what is defined in civil legislation. It is about doing the right thing. The Cardinal Newman Society labeling this a “scandal” is well enough. This is more than a difference of opinion on what constitutes inviting a department’s graduation day speaker. To use language like that, admittedly fiery language, one has to be willing to speak and hear other instances of scandal. No one individual can speak out against every real and possible scandal, but we should be willing to accept the reality, and prioritize what is authentically scandalous.

    How many Catholics have left the Church over a commencement speaker at a university? How many for the blundering treatment of child predators? One is a disputed political situation that overlaps church and society. Another is literally a moment of distrust and disconnect from the Gospel, a clear Luke 17:2 moment.

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t engage in vigorous conversations about Catholic identity and orthopraxis in the world. But let’s keep things in perspective on what causes the greater harm to the Church.

  27. Please do not patronize me. I suspect you think of me as more a difficult annoyance than sweet or thoughtful.

    I do not share the Republican-generated alarmism on Democratic Party politics. I may not agree with them, or with you and the US bishops either, but that does not make me an automatic member of the opposition.

    Please continue the discussion without caricature. Sec Sebelius speaking at a department event on graduation day is not really a big deal. Three years ago, much of the problem was focused on getting an honorary degree. Now it seems to be ramped up to cutting a check and putting someone’s name on a press release. This shifting of standards does not speak well of the disinvite-crowd.

    We all know your deepest wish on this is to convert the opponent (unlike Republicans, who never met an opponent they didn’t want to put out of a job). In order to make converts, one first must be persuasive. That’s not going too well for you lately, has it?

    Next time, wait till I bring you candy or take you to a concert before telling me I’m sweet. I accept those terms as affections from my wife and daughter, not strangers.

  28. midwestlady says:


  29. Whoever made this decision has to have their head examined. This is the most bone headed decision I’ve seen or an in your face slap at traditional Catholicism.

  30. naturgesetz says:

    The problem, during Card. Law’s tenure wasn’t routine reassignment of known predators. The policies I outlined prevented that. One problem was assignment after treatment when the psychologists gave some assurance that it was safe to do so — a problem corrected by the post-1992 review board. The other was the cases where accusations were not deemed credible. But it misrepresents Cardinal Law’s handling of the cases to suggest that he was knowingly reassigning predators with no attempt to prevent further offenses. In Boston, at least, the reassignment of credibly accused predators was only done in the time of earlier archbishops — and even then, I think it was in the naive belief that they could avoid the sin if they were removed from contact with the one who was the innocent occasion of their sin.

    Complain about the coverup, if you will, but at the time, virtually nobody wanted publicity: victims, hierarchy, ordinary laity, law enforcement authorities. If victims and law enforcement had not acquiesced and cooperated in the coverup, it would have been impossible for it to have occurred.

  31. naturgesetz says:

    Also, you mention Fr. Geoghan. I’ve read the file which Bishop Accountability has obtained from the records of the Archdiocese of Boston. It shows efforts to treat and cure him (which was thought possible at the time). This was a case where the”chancery” under Cardinal Law was not letting him loose to repeat his offenses somewhere.

  32. Fran Rossi,
    You are a riot, please no more sarcastic jokes ..LOL.

    Selibius, political ally of George ‘the baby killer’ Tiller. Great.

  33. That’s going a bit “Drama Queen” on the issue. Sebelius the new Cromwell? How many execution warrants for Catholics has Sebelius signed, in round figures, compared to Cromwell? A Catholic school in the early 1530s would have had another problem with inviting Cromwell to be a commencement speaker, as he would not be born for another 70 years.

  34. naturgesetz says:

    You’re confusing Thomas Cromwell with Oliver Cromwell, I think.

  35. You didn’t answer the question, Todd.

    If it’s okay for Georgetown to offer Sebelius who (as another commentor reminds us was a protector of George Tiller’s work) a platform, why not a vigorous proponent of torture of capital punishment?

    Would you support that and say it’s not a big deal?

    Would you?

  36. Oregon Catholic says:

    How many execution warrants – oops I mean abortions – has she facilitated? Quite a few more than Cromwell I’d say.

  37. Oregon Catholic says:

    Joe nailed it on the head. Stealing from the collection would have been held against a priest for the rest of his career – no one would have ever trusted him with a parish again, assumed he could be cured of this character defect, or given him another chance to re-offend. It’s all about priorities.

  38. This was exactly the thought, or hope, I had when I read this.

  39. TomKumar says:

    Remember— it was Georgetown who covered over religious symbols (IHS, etc) at the request of the White House, so that Obama could speak in 2009. Georgetown is Catholic in name only. St. Ignatius of Loyola must be rolling in his grave at their blatant cowardice and refusal to be defend the Catholic faith.

  40. TomKumar says:

    please remove this first comment. . . sorry

  41. It seems to me that Kathleen Sebelius has been so demonized by some Catholic individuals and groups, e.g., The Cardinal Newman Society, that I, for one, would like to hear speak and explain herself in this Catholic university. I think Cardinal Newman would approve.

    I am baffled by the way that the Cardinal Newman Society claims his name but not at all his thoughts about what constitutes a Catholic institution of higher learning. His work “The Idea of a University” was born out of his frustration in establishing a University in Dublin that would allow a free exchange of ideas and not be “like a seminary” as the Irish hierarchy wanted.
    (Of course, he had to deal with people in England and Ireland who had little respect for the intellectual capabilities of Catholics.)

    I have a particular fondness for the chapter called “A Definition of a Gentleman” in “The Idea of a University.”

    “If he (a gentleman) engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him from the blundering discourtesy of better, perhaps, but less educated minds; who, like blunt weapons, tear and hack instead of cutting clean, who mistake the point in argument, waste their strength on trifles, misconceive their adversary, and leave the question more involved than they find it. He may be right or wrong in his opinion, but he is too clear-headed to be unjust; he is as simple as he is forcible, and as brief as he is decisive. Nowhere shall we find greater candor, consideration, indulgence: he throws himself into the minds of his opponents, he accounts for their mistakes. He knows the weakness of human reason as well as its strength, its province and its limits.”

  42. I am curious by what you mean a “real” University? How does inviting Sebelius make them a “real” University?

  43. I will respond. I am willing to have a discussion with a person who believes torture and capital punishment are appropriate. I think universities should encourage those discussions. I think college students are appropriately mature to engage them. I also think that members of a university community have a right, if not a duty to protest speakers who have behaved in manifestly sinful ways.

    That said, I will ask in turn: do you see a distinction between inviting a career politician to give a speech on public policy and inviting her to speak on the importance of the pro-choice position being supported by a Catholic?

  44. Can you edify us and identify the “Catholic right”?

  45. Mark…really?

    It’s not dumb. It’s obviously a deliberate F*** You to the bishops. We all read America, we listen to Tom Reese – because he’s everywhere – so we know what this corner of American Jesuit-land approves of and supports.

    Kathleen Sebelius did everything in her power to fight pro-life groups on the smallest issues in Kansas. Look it up. She is not a poor Catholic struggling with her conscience, trying to play fair in a diverse public square. She is a pro-abortion idealogue, and in featuring her the Jesuits at Georgetown have made it clear where they stand.

  46. It will be very interesting to hear if Sebelius at least acknowledges that the Bishops and many millions of Catholics do not support the mandate that she created. It is interesting that 90 Georgetown professors including priests sent a letter to Congressman Ryan condemning his budget plan and accused him of subverting Catholic teaching. I don’t recall any such letter going to Sebelius from Georgetown. Mr. Ryan had the guts to recently provide a lecture at the school and acknolwedged there were differences in opinion between him and other Catholics on social responsibility issues. Will Sebelius at least acknolwedge differences on the issue of abortion and contraception? I won’t hold my breath.

  47. Naturgesetz, I really wish people would please, please stop defending Cardinal Law’s very wrongheaded choices when it came to predator priests. The file shows that Law expressed sympathy to Geoghan in various letters he sent him. (I think you and I have had a similar exchange of this subject before. If memory serves me, I posted links to some of the letters Law sent Geoghan, and you blamed Law’s aides for writing bad letters that the Cardinal apparently had no choice in signing.) Blaming a report from a psychiatrist for Law’s decision doesn’t work. Evidently, the archdiocese knew which facilities were most likely to give a predator a “clean bill” so that he could be put back into action at a new parish. The cardinal chose to react to sexual abuse as only a sin instead of as a crime that was also a sin. Instead of sending a frequent offender like Geoghan for treatment, an archbishop who gave a darn would have picked up the phone personally (yes, personally, not delegating such an important task to an aide) and called the police. Law, by contrast, did everything he could to sweep these crimes under the rug. And then the Vatican gave him a nice perch for his retirement. Talk about causing scandal.

  48. RomCath says:

    Seems you are one of the dividers

  49. Fr. Mark – thanks. I think you are finding wide agreement this was a dumb move. Actually more like really dumb move especially considering the Secretary Sebelius’ primary role in not only pushing for the birth control mandate this winter – but to lobby for a narrow religious exception. She wanted to refuse an exception that clearly focused ( this time) on catholic chartable and educational institutions.

    I am the proud recipient of eight years of jesuit education and find two divergent views here

    * The jesuits are smart people, so obviously they intentionally did this to give the ‘italian salute’ to the Bishops et al.

    * The jesuits are smart people, so how the heck did they not see how bone headed this is and appears.

    I am not against opportunities for full honest and sometimes sharp dialogue on issues at catholic colleges. Having Congressman Ryan and Father Reese and other debate the appropriateness of government budgets and policy – that is exactly what we need and want at our schools.

    When it is not about giving awards and honors- I would also not object to public figures who diverge from church teaching speaking at a catholic college or university – especially in debating public issues ( the bishops direction, to my understanding, is no awards or platforms for honor- not never set foot or speak on a catholic campus)

    I truly want to give the GU jesuits the benefit of the doubt on any intent behind inviting Sebelius to speak at a graduation assembly Father Mark– but in this case it makes most of us wonder….

  50. The speakers at commencement for my wife, myself, and my two daughters were Walter Cronkite, Andrew Young, Condelesa Rice, and Desmond Tutu. The speaker this year for my daughters masters is Katie Curic. Not a bad group of speakers for two state colleges.

  51. ron chandonia says:

    Inviting a controversial public figure to address an academic forum or engage in a debate is one thing; asking the same person to stand up as a role model for graduates is quite another. As governor of Kansas, Sebelius consistently resisted efforts to enforce state laws that would have curbed the notorious late-term abortion practice of George Tiller, one of her strongest supporters. As Secretary of Health and Human Services, she has become the public face of secularist opposition to Catholic teaching on life issues. It is outrageous for Georgetown to have asked her to speak at one of its commencement ceremonies; the only possible purpose is to stick it to the USCCB.

  52. Sean Gallagher says:

    Yes, Cromwell was known for ordering executions. But he is as well known for managing the dissolution of religious houses in England. And the bishops have been quite serious in saying that they would rather close various institutions than give in to the mandate were it to remain in force. While Sebelius wouldn’t be directly overseeing the closure of such institutions, she would have been an effective instrument in the process to bring that about.

    So, no, I don’t think that my analogy was overly dramatic. And I’m not saying that the two things being compared are totally equal. Things never are in analogies. But there’s enough in common between the two to make the comparison quite relevant…

  53. Sean Gallagher says:

    No, actually I’m not confusing Thomas Cromwell with his distant relative Oliver, who was born nearly 60 years after his death:

  54. Coward.

  55. midwestlady says:

    You misunderstood what I said. Here is what I meant by the comment, in detail:

    a) Georgetown uses its Catholic reputation to attract Catholic students and donations.
    b) Yet Georgetown is in open defiance of the Church and has been for some time, the latest example of which is inviting Madame Sebelius to speak at graduation.
    c) So, Georgetown needs to either act Catholic, OR stop using the Church as a tool to get students and donations.
    d) But…If Georgetown stops using the Church as a tool to get students and donations, Georgetown will find itself hurting because that’s a big part of its student recruitment and funding strategy. It’s a niche institution, and it would be giving up its niche, which is always a dangerous thing.

    I don’t know how you could have gotten the idea that I was suggesting they brought in Madame Sebelius to “somehow prove their status as a real university.” That’s not what I wrote, nowhere near it. Bringing in Madame Sebelius might prove a lot of things but that’s one of them.

  56. midwestlady says:

    Mike, I have no idea how you could have gotten that out of what I wrote. See my additional note at May 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm.

  57. midwestlady says:

    How many of them have signed Ex Corde Ecclesia?

  58. midwestlady says:

    Lisa, it’s both. And it’s not only directed at the bishops. It’s directed at us.

  59. By “Catholic Right” you mean to say ‘the Catholics who stand by the teaching of Her Bishops’ or ‘Catholics, correctly outraged by other Catholics publicly embracing lost Catholics and giving them honor in order to gain an invitation to their tables’.
    The words narcissism, and self-indulgence apply to those who don’t follow the teachings of the sheppards of the flock. I suggest a look in the mirror to find a person who fits your description.

  60. sheppard??? duh? ……..shepherd. I know, i shouldn’t post after midnight.

  61. Midwestlady-was not directing question to you but to another commenter named Mike.

  62. doesn’t seem to me to be dividing anything…….. Just a keen sense of reality.
    ANYONE agreeing that sebelius should be given the honor of commencement speaker is defying the teaching of our Bishops. (DIVIDING the CHURCH). What does ROM stand for in RomCath…… roaming? romanticist? romaine?….. i give up. i’m 100% sure it is NOT Roman. Walking out on a heretic in a total heretical environment would be a testimony to the division already inacted by the University. It is such a shame the University is using this joyful day to display their commitment to EVIL.

  63. “It is outrageous for Georgetown to have asked her to speak at one of its commencement ceremonies; the only possible purpose is to stick it to the USCCB.”

    Ron, do you have any “insider information” as proof that your comment about the reason for the invitation to Kathleen Sebelius is true?”

  64. Joanc57 says:

    It was pretty clear to me what you meant, about Georgetown being a real Catholic university. The problem with these message boards is people sometimes jump to aggressively wrong conclusions and say things they would never say to your face. I agree with your comment.

  65. midwestlady says:

    You were right. They’re apparently not really a Catholic university. Except when they want money from the Catholic peons they depend on for funding.

  66. midwestlady says:

    Yikes. Talk about off topic. We devolved to Boston circa 2002. I wish I had a penny for every time that happens!

  67. midwestlady says:

    Disgusting and monotonous isn’t it?

  68. midwestlady says:

    She’s said far too much already. She needs to be “helped” out of office, along with her boss, in November.

  69. midwestlady says:

    The opinions of college professors, yawn.

  70. midwestlady says:

    How many Catholics have left the Church over commencement speakers at a university? More than you think, Todd. These things are seriously scandalous, and scandal is one of the big reasons people leave the Church.
    The child predator problem is another one. This issue has permeated all the consciousness of every subgroup in the USA, even people who don’t usually think about the Catholic church otherwise for 1 minute a year, and there are many such people. Our reputation on the street is lower than dirt. This is one of the reasons why evangelization is so tough now.

  71. midwestlady says:

    Catholic identity and what it consists of is a huge issue, and one that has barely been touched by most Catholics in the US, yet it has everything to do with these issues like Georgetown, the LCWR business and everything we do as a group.

    Right now, it’s a mixed bag when it even comes to peoples’ conscious thoughts about Catholic identity. Catholics do very, very little together except attend mass in many areas and we are more oppositional with each other than with the general population. It’s been this way for years, and it’s a big problem.

  72. Yawn, more faux outrage. The average Georgetown parent won’t care and the others would’ve anyway. You guys would holler if you were hung with a new rope.

  73. Joe, if this were an isolated instance of GU inviting someone to speak who is in stark contrast to Magisterium teaching, I too would be inclined to give them a break. But there is a pattern of this at GU and several other Catholic universities. At what point does it become at you indicated the “Italian salute”‘ which is really a nice way of saying to publicly controvert Church teaching? I find it ironic that GU apparently believes that Sebelius and HHS have moral standing to say that we don’t respect officially Church teaching on contraception and abortion and will make no exceptions for those who want to practice their religion freely. Yet, the same GU wants the “right” to express its freedom and to invite as a speaker someone who stands against Church teaching. As an institution of higher learning, how do they reconcile this duplicity? One the one hand they indicate in this invitation that disagreement and accommodation are positive steps yet, they don’t demand that the same accommodation be made by the representative of the government they have invited?

  74. Graham Combs says:

    There’s a syndicated priest (CNS?) who once wrote that he often prefers the company of non-Catholics. I don’t doubt it. I became a Catholic only recently because I had already done sophistication. I recall a priest in my diocese who said during a sermon in 2009 that some people were “overreacting to the health care bill.” Ms. Sebelius speaking at Catholic university only confirms that nuance and knowingness and tactical alliances can trump devotion. I don’t go to a priest or any religious for knowing his way around a wine list. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Catholics have stopped sending their children to Catholic high schools for the same reason they will eventually stop sending them to Catholic universities. It’s not worth it in all the ways we measure value. What next at G-Town, “Sex Week?”

  75. midwestlady says:

    I hear you. I converted..and I stay…for what Catholicism really is, not for what a few very weird or degenerate Catholics are. I wouldn’t call myself a naive or easily sensationalized person at all, and I observed the Church a long time before entering, but some of the things I’ve seen since my conversion have been over the top, even for me. I just avoid these people when they bother me.

  76. midwestlady says:

    And yes, Graham, the Church in the US will certainly go on, but the megalithic edifice of services from the 19th and early 20th centuries is dead, crumbling before our very eyes. But it should be. Time goes on, things change, we, as a church, move on to more appropriate expressions of what it is to be Catholic.

  77. naturgesetz says:

    Steve —

    If Cardinal Law had been treating it only as a sin, he would not have sent people off for psychological treatment.

    Yes, he sent boilerplate letters when he removed priests from ministry. IMO the fact of removal is far more important than the wording of the letter.

    In not calling the police — who, for the most part, along with the prosecutors, would rather not have prosecuted priests — he was no worse than everybody else. His fault was the fault of the age. It seems to me that people genuinely thought they could protect children, keep priests in ministry, and preserve the good name of the church. It was not a matter, in their minds, of sacrificing children for the good of the priests and the Church.

    It seems to me that Cardinal Law was no worse than most bishops of the time, and that the record clearly shows that he was trying to put an end to the abuse. It also seems to me that you are bound and determined to have him as the arch-villain, and no amount of facts will open your closed mind on the topic.

  78. pagansister says:

    pol, not only will the parents really not care (they will be glad to stop paying tuition)about who the speaker will be/is, the students —soon to be graduated won’t either! One would think that this speaker is going to totally change the lives of these graduates because of her positions on certain things, in just one speech. If indeed everyone listens to the speaker and isn’t daydreams during the talk, then maybe a couple of the graduates will have something to think about. :o)

  79. pagansister says:

    OOPS! should be “and isn’t daydreaming, during the talk—”


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