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Noted author announces canonical lawsuit against Georgetown

Catholic World News - May 18, 2012

A prominent Georgetown University alumnus has announced plans for a canonical lawsuit in a bid to restore the school’s Catholic identity.

William Peter Blatty, the author of The Exorcist, is asking Georgetown alumni, faculty, students, and friends to join in his canonical case, in which he will ask the Archdiocese of Washington and the Holy See to take action “up to 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.”

In his plea for support of the canonical case, Blatty argues that Georgetown has failed to comply with the standards set forth in Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the conduct of Catholic universities. He lists a series of offenses, leading up to this week’s decision by Georgetown to honor Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. “Georgetown is being dishonest” by presenting itself as a Catholic institution, the author argues. “Together, we need to end that!”

Blatty—who won an Oscar for the screenplay of the film based on his best-selling novel—is a member of Georgetown’s class of 1950, and a recipient of the university’s John Carroll Medal for alumni achievement. In presenting his argument for action against Georgetown, he emphasized his own debt to the school and his desire to bring Georgetown back into line with its Catholic heritage.

Blatty has enlisted the Cardinal Newman Society and the St. Joseph Foundation to assist with his canonical case.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - May. 20, 2012 12:17 AM ET USA

    Earlier this year Patrick Deneen, a prominent professor of government at Georgetown left the university because he said that it was more committed to "prestige" than it was to "truth"; that it was devolving into the image of its "secular peers" at the expense of its Catholic identity. Sounds to me like Georgetown needs a good exorcism!

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - May. 19, 2012 1:29 PM ET USA

    Honestly ALL insitutions that call themselves Catholic that do not uphold Catholic orthodoxy even after repeated warnings need to be stripped of their "Catholic" name. How many unwitting souls send their kids to these cesspits of the zeitgeist while thinking they are going to be given a solid Catholic education? Souls are at stake here.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 18, 2012 1:06 PM ET USA

    The problem IS NOT an "institution" but a "person" and he is a "Cardinal." And in this man's humble opinion he (the Cardinal) will not be able to conceal his "loyalty" (or lack thereof)much longer.

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