SAY WHAT? Georgetown’s Catholic Identity “Has Never Been Stronger”?

Tim Drake, writing in the Catholic Education Daily, reports that Georgetown University has responded to the canon law petition submitted last week to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.  The petition, originated by The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty, called for the University to either comply with canon law or be stripped of its right to call itself a “Catholic” institution.

Drake explains:

“Our Catholic and Jesuit identity on campus has never been stronger,” Rachel Pugh, director of communications told the student newspaper The Hoya. “Academically, we remain committed to the Catholic intellectual tradition. We are proud of the countless ways that our students put their faith into action through service and justice programs.”

William Blatty (pictured), author of “The Exorcist”, made his award-winning film on the campus at Georgetown.

The completed petition documents abuses of Catholic identity at Georgetown University and non-compliance with Church law for Catholic universities. The group is seeking remedies “including, if made necessary, the removal or suspension of top-ranked Georgetown’s right to call itself Catholic and Jesuit in its fundraising and representations to applicants,” according to leaders.

But wait: 

  • Isn’t this the university which removed the crosses from its classroom walls, so as not to offend Muslims and others?
  • The university which invited pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius, head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the architect of the controversial birth control mandate, to speak at commencement?
  • The university which now offers health care benefits to the same-sex partners of its faculty?
  • The university with a pro-abortion student group, H*yas for Choice, which offers on-line instruction on how and where to obtain condoms, birth control pills, “emergency contraception,” and abortions, and which promotes internships with almost every major pro-abortion advocacy organization and political committee?
  • Isn’t this the university attended by Sandra Fluke, the poster woman for contraception who testified before Congress, asking that the government pay for her birth control?
  • This is the university where some 70 faculty members signed a letter of complaint after Cardinal Francis Arinze told graduates and others at the 2003 commencement ceremony about Church teaching regarding the family.  Cardinal Arinze’s “offensive” statement, which resulted in some faculty and students walking out, was:

“In many parts of the world, the family is under siege.  It is opposed by an anti-life mentality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.  It is scorned and banalized by pornography, desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions and cut in two by Divorce.”

Yes, I thought so.

Here is my original post, explaining Blatty’s campaign to force the Cardinal’s hand, in an attempt to make his alma mater Georgetown University step in line with the Church whose name it holds.


  • Manny

    That man has a political future…lol. Either that or as a used car salesman. Amazing.

    • ThirstforTruth

      That man? What man?

      • Manny

        You’re right. I was looking at the name of the male reporter, not the female inside the quoted section. I should have been referring to Rachel Pugh. Thanks for the correction.

  • Dale

    Perhaps I have missed the news, but I don’t recall Georgetown University removing crucifixes from classrooms to avoid offending Muslim students. I do remember in 2011 that a professor (John Banzhaf) from a different school (George Washington University) filed a complaint with the city of Washington, DC asking for such a thing. But as I recall both Georgetown University and city said “No.”

    • ThirstforTruth

      Go back and check! In addition, crucifixes were covered up when the
      great Messiah Obama came to speak on the campus….so no one would’
      be offended. I thought real Catholics embraced the crucifix…Georgetown truly embarrassed by it. Georgetown, Boston College, Notre Dame, the various “Loyolas” and dozens more drank the Kool Aide at Land of Lakes and forfeited the right to be called Catholic. Read the history!

  • heavenly1
  • Harley Rummel

    The philosophy courses are a joke: Lots about Hegel, Kant, Global Warming and — can you believe it? — “Democracy and Star Trek,” but nary a word about the uncool Thomas Aquinas and his 5 Ways of proving God.

    • WRBaker

      That’s okay, I taught the basics of the Quinque Viae to my 8th grade students – and they wanted to know more.

  • Harley Rummel

    If ever an international award is projected for jaw-dropping, brazen-faced and borderline hilarious dishonesty, the certain winner will be GU flack Rachel Pugh for her straight-faced defense of Georgetown’s Catholicity by asserting that GU requires two semesters of Theology and Philosophy when the Philosophy offerings are the like of studies in Hegel, Kant, “Bioethics and Animals,” “Gender and Feminism,” “Origin of Animal Rights,” “Global Warming” and –an ypou believe it? — “Democracy and Star Trek,” with nary so much as a mention of St. Thomas Aquinas with his juvenile, uncool and embarrassing 5 Ways of proving the existence of God.

  • Liam Ronan

    At which university was the crucifix covered so that it wouldn’t be in camera shot behind Obama when he gave an address there?

  • Deacon Ed Peitler

    So, Georgetown HAS implemented Ex Corde Ecclesia? I hadn’t read that anywhere.

  • Liam Ronan reported on May 7, 2012:

    “Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”–symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there.”

  • Maccabeus

    Imagine that faculty members at a so-called Catholic university walked out when a Catholic cardinal spoke about Catholic teaching on the family. How novel and brazen of his Eminence! Georgetown is clearly no longer a Catholic university. It has gone the way of many such institutions of higher learning, and should just come out and say what is obvious. If it was truly Catholic, the faculty would have cheered Cardinal Arinze’s speech.

  • Paul

    Hummm, Hitler and his fallowers thought that they they were on high moral ground too….

    • Antonio

      You missed the point! Hitler and his followers didn’t pretend to be something other than what they were, even while justifying and rationalizing their actions. From the criticism offered here, I take it that Georgetown is claiming to be Catholic when in reality their decisions indicate otherwise.

  • Rene

    Georgetown is as much Catholic, as some of our bishops are Catholic. Will the new evangelization succeed with this kind of leadership? Only by a miracle from God will the new evangelization succeed.

  • Gerard

    Thank you for a well-written article on the travesty of GU and other “Catholic” institutions who have crossed the line away from the church. Notre Dame was one of the first back in 1984 when it let Gov Cuomo of NY give a speech on support for abortion!
    I conduct and anecdotal poll with students I meet asking them if their school is really Catholic or is it just in the name. I rarely find a students acknowledging that their Catholic institution is very Catholic.
    You can bet those Protestant Christian colleges are doing their job of being Christian first! We Catholics no longer want to be viewed as different because of our religion, and the church is paying the price for being average!

  • Yasha Renner

    Shoot first, due process later, that’s what I say. Why in the face of such persistent abuses would the University be allowed to continue touting the title “Catholic.”

    • Florin S.

      June 9th: Why do they even want to be considered Catholic????

      • Howard

        (1) Naive alumni. (2) Naive parents. (3) Their nutty antics would not generate publicity if they were just another small, liberal, private college.

      • Fred

        Donations by Catholics and prestige I would guess.

  • Ann Nameth

    When will our Bishops start acting like bishops and not like politicians? I fear I will never see the day.

  • Joel Everett

    I looked up the course catalog in the fields of Theology and Philosophy, and my jaw just dropped. The course listing in the theology section gives more attention to other faiths than to Christianity; let alone Catholicism. The Philosophy course offerings are not much better; it appears that St. Thomas Aquinas might get a mention in one course dealing with Ancient / Medieval Philosophy; at least he’ll be in better company with Aristotle and Plato than Marx and Hegel.