Exorcising Sebelius

Today Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke at a graduation ceremony for Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute, where she quoted John F. Kennedy’s speech lauding America as a place where “no religious body” can impose its views on others. (Leave aside that it is the government in this case imposing its views on religious institutions.) Others have covered the controversy in greater depth, including the defense offered by Georgetown’s president and the archdiocese’s response that this defense is, well, Jesuitical.  

Enter the Exorcist.

Or at least the author, Georgetown alum William Blatty. Mr. Blatty has now launched a petition in favor of a canon law initiative against his alma mater. The details are here. Here’s a taste:

Like many men of my generation, I owe much to the Jesuit fathers and to Georgetown University. My hard-working mother had faith that I could win a scholarship to attend Georgetown, a “rich boys’ school.” Georgetown gave me that scholarship, and I am ever- grateful. With it came a rich liberal education that included the keys of reason to unlock the mysteries of my Lebanese mother’s Faith.

Throughout an undeservedly wonderful life, I have been guided by the light of my Georgetown education, grounded firmly, as I knew it was even in my youth, in the unmatched intellectual wealth of the Catholic Church.  Each time I faltered, as I often did, that guiding light never failed me.

What I owe Georgetown, however, is nothing as compared to what Georgetown owes to its founders and the Christ of Faith, and so it grieves me deeply that my beloved alma mater is failing so scandalously in its debt both to the Church and to the militant Jesuits still buried there who gave it their everything; who made it so special for so long. It grieves me that Georgetown University today almost seems to take pride in insulting the Church and offending the faithful.

It promises to be an interesting fight. 

  1. KC Mulville

    I posted this elsewhere, but it also belongs here. Not all of the Jesuits agree with Georgetown’s decision. Here’s a particular favorite Jesuit with his response.

    So, not only will it be an interesting fight between university and diocese … but the fight inside the Jesuits looks pretty fun as well.

  2. James Gawron

    Bill,

    What a beautiful statement from Blatty.  Pure INTEGRITY.  I think Hollywood missed it’s chance to corrupt this guy.

    Thanks Bill,

    Jim

  3. Peter Robinson
    C

    images.jpgI know nothing about William Peter Blatty except that he wrote a best-selling book some four decades ago.  But now I admire him–I admire him intensely.  Assuming that he invested his royalties with a minimum of prudence, he’s now rich.  At 84, he is also in his final years.  He doesn’t need a fight.  But he has chose to start one all the same–a good, clean, honorable fight in which Mr. Blatty is entirely in the right.

    God bless him–and give him the jab he’s going to need to follow up on this roundhouse.

  4. Mel Foil

    Yup, it’s horrible when churches, or individuals, try to impose their various abstinences (from using products or services) on secular people trying to make money.

  5. Pseudodionysius

    “She’s gone too far.”

    The author of The Exorcist.

  6. Donald Todd

    Barring the responsible (territorial or diocesan) bishop taking exception to this kind of behavior, nothing will happen.  Those alumni who agree will continue to give, and those who do not will probably be convinced to give anyway.  Georgetown, Boston College (aka Barely Catholic), and Notre Dame (described as a secular school in a Catholic neighborhood) will continue to pretend to be Catholic.  It won’t be until bishops get the “Catholic” part of that school or university pulled, that the parents and Catholic supporters of those schools will be convinced to find another place for their children and their giving.

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