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.