In a repeat of Notre Dame’s unbelievably poor decision to have the most radically pro-abort President in American history speak at their 2009 Commencement, now another Catholic university has invited perhaps the second most notorious and influential pro-abort in the country, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Kathleen Sebelius, has been chosen to be a featured speaker at an awards ceremony at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute – a deliberate slap in the face of the US Catholic Bishops.
That they would do this so soon after the HHS mandate’s assault on religious freedom is nothing short of outrageous, not to mention insulting and demoralizing.
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 www.gupetition.org. 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.
William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel The Exorcist—which went on to become an Oscar-winning movie—depicts an epic battle of good versus evil waged under the auspices of the Catholic Church. Reportedly based on a real exorcism Blatty heard about as an undergraduate on a scholarship at Georgetown University, the novel is steeped in Catholicism. Indeed, the “hero” of The Exorcist is the fictional Father Damien Karras, a Georgetown Jesuit, who, at great personal cost, drives out the demon.
Now Blatty, a longtime financial contributor to his alma mater, says that Georgetown is no longer true to the Catholic identity he knew there as a member of the class of 1950. In this interview, Blatty, now retired and living in Maryland, explains why he and a group of other concerned alumni have filed a canon law lawsuit to pressure the Jesuit university either to reclaim its Catholic identity or cease to call itself a Catholic institution.
Here is the full interview:
Q. You have put together an impressive website at www.gupetition.org, and you’re developing a case under the Catholic Church’s canon law. You certainly look to be very serious about this. How far are you willing to go to return Georgetown to its Catholic roots?
A. To quote from the Georgetown Alumni Song, “Until the sun grows cold.” I am ready to go all the way for as long as it takes, and if something happens to me, other Father King Society members will take the baton. I know that canon procedure can be murky, but I have great faith in the Holy Spirit that churchmen will do the right thing. I have faith, most of all, in the Holy Father. He knows that 21 years of ignoring Ex corde Ecclesiae makes a mockery of our Church and of Christ Himself.
Q. So you must be pretty steamed about the situation at Georgetown to be doing all of this instead of enjoying your retirement with your lovely wife! What motivates you?
A. What motivates me? Love. In the middle of my senior year at Brooklyn Prep, my mother and I lived in poverty, so that without the full scholarship Georgetown gave me, I would likely never have been able to go to college. Every blessing that I have, in particular my strong faith, I owe to my mother and to my alma mater whom I love and want back: beautiful, healthy and, above all, faithful.
I am not “steamed.” I am aggrieved. And I finally came to realize that I have only one more important thing that I can do, and this is it.
Q. I understand that you are an alumnus and have donated generously to Georgetown in the past. Have things really changed so much that you would now publicly challenge the university to return to its Catholic roots?
A. Yes, of course. I considered even asking them to give my money back to transfer to a scholarship fund in my son’s name at an actually Catholic school. The change crept in over many years. It was disguised by talk that sounded right but hid secondary motives.
Even now, Georgetown puts up a Potemkin village. It points to its chaplains, its Masses, its Knights of Columbus Chapter. At alumni dinners, they will make sure there is a Jesuit in a collar at every table, like the floral arrangement. But they refuse to recruit Catholics, and the faculty is now at 20 percent Catholic! Catholic students have to live as if they are in a foreign country, where all around them everyone is treating them like strangers. Just for being authentically Catholic! If we do not all act now we will lose the great universities. I refuse to accept that.
Read the rest of the interview, here.
And here’s a treat for you Exorcist fans: William Peter Blatty appeared on EWTN’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, last Fall to discuss the 40th anniversary edition of his landmark novel.
In the middle of the interview he was asked to read an excerpt from the book and he was happy to oblige. What followed was a delightfully chilling reading from the chapter in which Father Karras first meets Regan. (starts at 4:48):
Hot Air: Does Georgetown need … The Exorcist?
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