Georgetown Jesuits invite Kathleen Sebelius

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They have effectively said to the US Bishops: “Screw you!”

From the CNS:

Kathleen Sebelius to Speak at Georgetown Commencement Ceremony

In what can only be interpreted as a direct challenge to America’s Catholic bishops, Georgetown University has announced that “pro-choice” Catholic Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and lead architect of the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom through the HHS contraception mandate, has been invited to speak at one of Georgetown’s several commencement ceremonies.

The Cardinal Newman Society has posted a petition to protest this outrage here: It has also alerted Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and sent a letter to Georgetown President John DeGioia urging him to immediately withdraw the invitation.

Last week The Cardinal Newman Society released a list of 11 scandalous commencement speakers at Catholic colleges and universities, as well as a report on homosexual “lavender graduations” including one at Georgetown.

The nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university has chosen to honor Sebelius by granting her a prestigious platform at its Public Policy Institute commencement ceremony, despite her role as the lead architect of a healthcare mandate that will force Catholic institutions to pay for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization against their religious beliefs. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has termed the mandate “an unwarranted government definition of religion” that is “alien both to our Catholic tradition and to federal law,” “a violation of personal civil rights” and “a mandate to act against our teachings.”

But Secretary Sebelius’ record on abortion is at least as troubling as the mandate. When Governor of Kansas, Sebelius supported abortion rights and vetoed pro-life legislation. In 2008, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City reportedly told Sebelius, a Roman Catholic, to stop receiving the Eucharist until she publicly recants her position on abortion and makes a “worthy sacramental confession.”

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  1. plemmen says:

    Really brings home the question: “Are Jesuits even Catholic?”

  2. Random Friar says:

    Sheer arrogance on the part of Georgetown.

  3. mrsschiavolin says:

    Time to revoke the Catholic title. This is intolerable.

  4. SonofMonica says:

    God, why do you have to make it so hard to love these people? Why does spitting seem so much easier and effective than love right now? I am beside myself. I just want to spit.

  5. frjosh says:

    As I tell people all the time, when the Jesuit jokes come out:

    When you’ve met one Jesuit, you’ve pretty much met…. one Jesuit.

    But yeah. These guys are those kind of Jebs.

  6. pfreddys says:

    My initial reaction to this was jaw dropping and being speechless. It is beyond words how outrageous this is.
    Responsibility belongs at the top so President John DeGioia gets the Quisling award in this Kulturkampf.
    What are the chances of Cardinal Wuerl doing anything here? This is exactly the sort of thing that lay people will look at and say will the bishops respect their own line in the sand or will they yet again back down to the world.

  7. RichR says:

    Wow. The administration spits on the hierarchy and Georgetown says, “We honor you.” Pretty clear message to me.

    How embarrassing. Is nothing worth standing up for these days? Didn’t we learn from our dealings with the Soviet Communists what you get from a conciliatory attitude towards relentless persecutors? As long as you are not against the HHS, you are essentially for them. They take this “honor” as a “falling in line”.

    No doubt, we will start to hear the praises emanating from the Administration about Georgetown’s courage in defying the hierarchy.

  8. Austin Catholics says:

    “can only be interpreted as a direct challenge to America’s Catholic bishops”

    No it isn’t. Such hyperbole. This is not a news story. It’s trivial.

  9. plemmen says:

    Austin Catholics: I’ll pray for your conversion to Catholicism.

  10. Supertradmum says:

    Those of us who have had anything to do with education know that Georgetown has been a bad apple in the barrel for over thirty years. Nothing the university does surprises me, but the outright in-your-face gesture in this case is so obvious as to demand a response from the USCCB ,if not the Vatican.

    Last year, I had a Jesuit bad-mouth the Latin Mass and basically state that he did not support the Summorum Pontificum. His institution was also offering classes in occult, new age things, which I pointed out to him in public. This type of disobedience never ends and demands action from those who can censure Georgetown and the Jesuits.

  11. Philangelus says:

    I don’t even want to comment on the decision to invite her. Just keep praying for Sebelius.

  12. ContraMundum says:

    No worries. There’s sure to be an auxiliary bishop who will rush in, reproach Georgetown, and apologize to the faithful for the offense they have given. Right?

  13. haribo says:

    I went to a non-sectarian liberal arts college that was once Quaker. They loved to invoke their “Quaker roots,” but only when they could be used to support liberal dogma. The spirit of social justice was alive and well on campus, but there was never any mention of Christ or the bible from a college official. We see the same kind of thing starting to happen with the Jesuit colleges, who defer to their Catholic identity when it comes to service of the poor or “intercultural dialogue,” but show little interest in the spiritual formation of their students. Georgetown already has a lay president, and it’s become too prestigious to recover it’s spiritual mission, so maybe it’s time they make the same transition my school did and become a non-sectarian university with “Catholic roots.” The school could remain “Catholic” in a sense, but not gloss over the fact that its faculty and administration are deeply to committed to ideologies that are incompatible with Catholic doctrine.

  14. Cathy says:

    Many years ago, my aunt sent my cousin to a prestigious Jesuit University, a priest friend told her, I thought you wanted your son to go to a Catholic University. Unfortunately, this spirit of dissent has spread through the Catholic Universities. The Cardinal Newman Society has done a great service in pointing this out. Unfortunately, the mondatum is not what many of these institutions are looking for, it is something they seem to seek to weed out. The USCCB issued a statement in regards to honoring pro-abortion politicians in Catholic Universities some time back. Where is the discipline, the teeth, in regards to this statement? Does the Bishop have the capacity to issue an interdict on the university? Does the Bishop in whose diocese the errant institution resides have the capacity to strip the Catholic identity of the university?

  15. SJ at Georgetown must mean Society of Judas!

  16. Suburbanbanshee says:

    But she doesn’t even understand the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. How the heck is she a model for anyone, except maybe “model ignoramus”?

    Anybody whose maiden name is Gilligan should avoid being soooooo stupid. She makes Gilligan on the island look like a genius, morally and otherwise.

  17. haribo says:

    Does the Bishop have the capacity to issue an interdict on the university? Does the Bishop in whose diocese the errant institution resides have the capacity to strip the Catholic identity of the university?

    Georgetown has its own lay president and its own board of trustees. The bishop can’t force them to do anything. As you mention, he does have the power to tell the University they’re no longer allowed to call themselves a Catholic university, but this would be a heavy handed move with wide reaching implications, and it would need to follow a lengthy period of deliberation. Who knows if they would even obey. Canon Law isn’t civil law, and there would be no real way to force them to comply. Whether Cardinal Wuerl would make that move, I don’t know, but I doubt it, since I’m unaware of any precedent for this since Vatican II.

  18. ContraMundum says:

    Last year I interviewed at a small liberal-arts university that was founded by Benedictines. It still has a Catholic-sounding name, and the medal of St. Benedict is visible all over campus. When I met with the provost, I asked her what she would say to parents who were deciding whether to send their child to the Catholic-named university or to another liberal-arts university in the same state (one which, interestingly enough, had been affiliated with the Baptists until they lost control of it in 1917). She said it would probably be that at the Catholic-named university, community service is integrated into all of the courses. Uh huh. So I asked how her university would be different if it were not Catholic. She seemed utterly taken aback by the question and had no good answer for it.

    Needless to say, I did not get an offer. That’s just as well, even though I would have preferred the climate of the South to the climate of West Virginia. If I’m going to teach at a secular university, I’d rather teach at a university that is honest about being secular.

  19. moon1234 says:

    I second the motion to placing Georgetown under interdict. A loud and clear message NEEDS to be sent to all Catholics about this type of direct insolence towards our Bishops. Catholics need to know that what the Universities are doing in the name of Catholics will not be tolerated.

  20. ContraMundum says:


    I can’t help notice how quickly a bishop from that same diocese intervened when the admitted practicing Lesbian was denied communion, and contrast that with the responses to one outrage after another from Georgetown.

    Don’t tell me this doesn’t speak volumes about the priorities of the archbishop.

  21. Perhaps the time has come to disband the Jesuits. Every dog has its day, as the saying goes, and Jesus did not guarantee that any particular religious order would survive until the end of time. Maybe after the Vatican is finished with the LCWR, it can look into the Jesuits. So many holes in the dike, so few fingers.

  22. teomatteo says:

    SonofMonica, don’t spit… spit is too important for good oral health to waste on the georgetown situation….

  23. Pingback: So I guess Judas was unavailable — The Curt Jester

  24. M. K. says:

    This is a travesty, but you can’t blame the Jesuits for it. As previously noted, Georgetown has a lay president and an independent board of trustees. Sebelius is speaking to the graduates of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, which has no Jesuits on faculty or staff. So one cannot presume that Jesuits were party to this decision or supportive of it; on the contrary, there are some Jesuits at Georgetown who would certainly agree that Sebelius has no business speaking on the campus – but, regrettably, the Jesuits don’t have enough influence on the University to prevent such things from happening (that’s a travesty in itself, but it’s not one that any comments here will be able to do anything about.)

  25. haribo says:

    Andrew Saucci,
    I’m no expert on Church politics, but I imagine trying to reform the Jesuits would be like trying to reform the Soviet Union. Still, there are many strong vocations entering the order today. They might never make it into the Jesuit hierarchy, since it’s really a hegemony, but it will be much easier for the Church to get the order back on track when they have a solid and orthodox base to work with.

  26. pm125 says:

    Blaspheming their Namesake to meet and greet powers, maybe principalities.
    Don’t know if it would matter to anyone at Georgetown Univ. of Washington DC, but scoffing at the Lord God is dangerous. Read Ezekiel to hear what He said about His rebellious people.
    Hope is in Ch. 9 for those who ‘ … moan and groan over all the abominations practiced … ‘.

  27. PostCatholic says:

    I teach at a nice liberal arts college that’s proud of its Quaker roots. I wish they’d shut up about them.

    I have met many, many Jesuits in my life who did not believe in the Christ, a few who doubted the historicity of Jesus (which even I don’t), and was once at a terrific dinner party in Burlieth (the neighborhood just north of Georgetown). It truly had everything one could want: Amazingly delicious Italian wines, artful fusion cooking prepared by our host and hostess (two entrees and a stunning relevé), an assortment of eminent and learned guests from which I stuck out as a sore thumb, a vast battery of bone china and polished silver and sparkling crystal, a delightful triumph of patisserie for dessert and then a releve u. The main entertainment was a Jesuit priest and then-professor at Georgetown (he has since relocated to Europe) explaining how he resolves being a Jesuit with being an atheist. It was the sin qua non of awesomeness, and I’ve been to a few awesome dinner parties in my time.

    Come on, you’re not surprised.

  28. PostCatholic says:

    (I must learn to use that preview button.)

  29. RichardC says:

    Makes me feel bad for faithful Jesuits, such as Father Mitch Pacwa.

  30. Scott W. says:

    Few people including me want to see a schism. But who are we kidding? Many Catholic colleges are already in de facto schism. Any more delays by Church leadership in making it de jure (or at least confronting with a choice) just makes it worse.

  31. iPadre says:

    I have an invitation for Sebelius, it’s call the Sacrament of Penance. “Repent and be saved!”

  32. HyacinthClare says:

    Cathy and Moon1234, I call for a vote on the interdict.

  33. cjcanniff says:

    The Jesuit Provincial in that region should step in and stop this from happening. Cardinal Wuerl can say all he wants (which probably won’t be too much because he doesn’t like to make waves; he’s an appeasement-type), but jurisdictionally it is the Society of Jesus who has the power to stop this if they really want to.

    There are Jesuits out there who are decent and holy men, and I hope they can talk some sense into their liberal brother Jesuits. Let’s pray that the good Jesuit fathers will come to their senses and rescind the invite.

  34. joecct77 says:

    The Cardinal Archbishop has had many chances to instruct C(c)atholic politicians who have promulgated views in opposition to the Church’s moral teaching. Unfortunately he has punted every single instance instead saying it is the responsibility of the politicians’ home dioceses. I do not anticipate any deviation from the past trend. If he wants to be a teacher and defender of the faith, here is an excellent chance to be one.

  35. M. K. says:

    @cjcanniff (et al.):

    The “good Jesuit fathers” cannot be expected to rescind an invitation they did not send. As I wrote above, the Jesuits regrettably have very little corporate influence at Georgetown and, in any event, the Jesuits were and are not responsible for the GPPI invite to Sebelius.

    The question of what the Provincial can do in situations like this is an interesting one; the practical answer, I’m afraid, is “not much.” There is a sustaining agreement between Georgetown and the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus affirming the institution’s Jesuit sponsorship, but that doesn’t give the Provincial any kind of veto over what Georgetown does as an independent academic institution. The Provincial could write to President DeGioia to complain, but he doesn’t have the authority to tell the GPPI to disinvite Sebelius.

    As a sidenote, having a lay president does make some difference in cases like this. If Georgetown had a Jesuit president, he could be compelled to act under religious obedience (this actually happened under a recent president; the details can probably be found elsewhere on the Internet). DeGioia cannot be similarly compelled – and, as noted by others, the bar at which the Archdiocese would actually intervene is quite high (though, again, a previous ordinary did take some action in regard, albeit at at time when Georgetown had a Jesuit president).

    In any event, if people want to do something constructive about this, they should write to President DeGioia. He is in a position to get the invitation rescinded, while the Jesuits are not. Anyone who wishes to write to DeGioia may start by thanking him for his recent positive actions in refusing to cave in to a push by Sandra Fluke and others to compel the University to start covering contraception in student health plans:

  36. Ray says:

    This is not an isolated incident. My example of this is a reversal of the Georgetown debacle. I graduated from St. Louis U and as a grad they constantly ask for donations from their alum. A few years ago they refused David Horowitz after he had been scheduled to speak. His ideation was too conservative for the schools taste. I’m old enough to remember the Jesuits being Soldiers of Jesus, they should be ashamed to use that title. I also concur that Father Pacwa is the exception.

  37. PostCatholic says:

    HyacinthClare says:
    5 May 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Cathy and Moon1234, I call for a vote on the interdict.

    Wouldn’t you need congregational polity for that?

  38. jhayes says:

    You may recall that Victoria Kennedy’s commencement address was canceled at the request of Bishop McManus. Now he has been asked not to attend – and has agreed.

    WORCESTER – In March, Anna Maria College withdrew its commencement speaking invitation to Victoria Reggie Kennedy after Bishop Robert J. McManus told school officials that the widow of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy was not an appropriate speaker because of her views on abortion, contraception, and gay marriage.

    Now, the bishop will not be attending the commencement either after he was asked by school officials on Thursday to skip the May 19 graduation exercises at the Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts because his appearance might be a distraction.

    Officials at the Paxton college said two graduating students will serve as commencement speakers and the college’s chaplain, the Rev. Manuel Clavjo, will give the invocation and benediction.

    Raymond L. Delisle, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Worcester, said Anna Maria president Jack Calareso and Sister Yvette Bellerose, chairwoman of the school’s board of trustees, had a brief meeting Thursday at the chancery.

    He said they asked the bishop to consider not attending and he agreed.

    “They felt the bishop would be a distraction to the event,’’ said Delisle, who described the meeting as cordial. “He was going to attend, but that’s not going to happen now.’’

  39. poohbear says:

    The Cardinal Newman Society has a petition asking Georgetown to disinvite her. You can sign here:

  40. Clinton says:

    MK, I think the position that the Jesuits are powerless at Georgetown (and therefore
    blameless in this debacle) to be a bit naive. The order could always formally sever its
    relationship with the school. The order could always open debate as to whether the
    current arrangement is truly compatible with Georgetown maintaining a Catholic
    identity. The order could always publicly protest the decision to invite Secretary Sebelius.
    The order could always issue a statement supporting the bishops and requesting that
    the Georgetown administration rescind its invitation.

    The order has options, none of which it seems willing to exercise.

    I imagine that if Georgetown invited a commencement speaker that was later discovered
    to be an advocate of apartheid, or a vicious anti-semite, we’d see that the Jesuits could
    find their voice to protest.

  41. Augustin57 says:

    How can a supposedly Catholic university get it’s “Catholic” affiliation/association/label taken away? Can the Church do this? They should give ALL these secular universities who sport “Catholic” anywhere in their title or description a warning. Straighten up, or get kicked out of the Church (get their Catholic title/description removed from them). And those who do get kicked out, this should be published for all to see, nationwide, or even worldwide, so unsuspecting parents do not mistakenly send their children there to be educated, thinking they’re getting anything close to a Catholic education.

  42. M. K. says:


    “MK, I think the position that the Jesuits are powerless at Georgetown (and therefore
    blameless in this debacle) to be a bit naive.”

    I may be many things, but naive isn’t one of them. I went to Georgetown, I keep in contact with people there, and have been involved in various Catholic identity squabbles there over the years, so I know what I’m talking about. The loss of Jesuit influence at Georgetown saddens me a great deal, but that doesn’t make it any less of a fact.

    Certainly, the Maryland Provincial potentially could do the various things you suggest, but the leadership of the Society simply doesn’t act that way in real life. One can argue here all day that they should do this or that, but it won’t make any difference in real world. If you think the Provincial should take action, write him a letter and tell him so – you may not get the response you want, but it would be more productive than bloviating about a perfect world that doesn’t exist and calling others who don’t see that world “naive.”

  43. haribo says:

    “I imagine that if Georgetown invited a commencement speaker that was later discovered
    to be an advocate of apartheid, or a vicious anti-semite, we’d see that the Jesuits could
    find their voice to protest.”

    This is definitely true, but the difference is that in the case you mention is that Georgetown would be fighting for its core *secular* values and garnish support from the global academic community. They would have nothing to answer for. If they exercised that kind of pull in this case, they’d likely face the same kind of criticisms Villanova got when it canceled Timoth Miller’s work shop a few months ago. And they don’t want a reputation of surpressing academic freedom.

  44. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says,
    The main entertainment was a Jesuit priest and then-professor at Georgetown (he has since relocated to Europe) explaining how he resolves being a Jesuit with being an atheist. It was the sin qua non of awesomeness, and I’ve been to a few awesome dinner parties in my time.

    Come on, you’re not surprised.

    I’m not. The Jesuit approach, highly methodical, was very much tied to the zeitgeist of an era that has ended. And the tendency was to see the faith through that method.

    Although various types of religious life had eras when they flourished, then later waned, the lives of those who follow the Rule of Benedict, Dominicans with preaching and the study of St Thomas, and Franciscans with poverty and simplicity of life all have had cores that transcend various eras.

  45. oldcanon2257 says:

    I wonder if this time Georgetown will cover up the Most Holy Name (“IHS”) for Sebelius like they did a few years ago for Obama?

    Saint Robert Bellarmine, pray for us.

    Somebody above asked if Jesuits were Catholics. Here is another Catholic joke I read somewhere on the web a while back:

    A man walked up to a Franciscan and a Jesuit and asked, “How many novenas must I say to get a Mercedes Benz?”

    The Franciscan asked, “What’s a Mercedes Benz?”

    The Jesuit asked, “What’s a novena?”

  46. Michelle F says:

    I don’t know much about how the Church’s power structures work, but couldn’t the pope take the Jesuits’ schools and give them to faithful orders such as the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, and then require that the schools’ administrative positions be occupied only by vowed members of the order operating the school?

    Also, promoting the pro-abortion agenda isn’t the only problem the Jesuits are having. Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia and one of its lay administrators are being investigated for possibly stealing several million dollars from NASA. Several of the articles have disappeared from the Internet since the news broke last month, but one still is available here:

    Personally, I’m all for suppressing the Jesuit order. If there are any faithful Jesuits, they need to get together and form a Reformed order so they can be identified by Rome and the rest of us.

  47. Marc says:

    “I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)

  48. ConnerW says:

    Thought this article would be appropriate for the discussion. From Rorate,

    Pope: ‘Sound education in faith’ is ‘most urgent challenge’ of the Church in America

    From the address pronounced by the Holy Father today before the Bishops of the United States (Regions X-XIII -TX/OK/AR and West/Pacific) in their ad limina visit; theological dissent in Catholic colleges and universities is a major problem for the Church in the United States, the Pope says.

    On the level of higher education, many of you have pointed to a growing recognition on the part of Catholic colleges and universities of the need to reaffirm their distinctive identity in fidelity to their founding ideals and the Church’s mission in service of the Gospel. Yet much remains to be done, especially in such basic areas as compliance with the mandate laid down in Canon 812 for those who teach theological disciplines. The importance of this canonical norm as a tangible expression of ecclesial communion and solidarity in the Church’s educational apostolate becomes all the more evident when we consider the confusion created by instances of apparent dissidence between some representatives of Catholic institutions and the Church’s pastoral leadership: such discord harms the Church’s witness and, as experience has shown, can easily be exploited to compromise her authority and her freedom.

    It is no exaggeration to say that providing young people with a sound education in the faith represents the most urgent internal challenge facing the Catholic community in your country. The deposit of faith is a priceless treasure which each generation must pass on to the next by winning hearts to Jesus Christ and shaping minds in the knowledge, understanding and love of his Church. It is gratifying to realize that, in our day too, the Christian vision, presented in its breadth and integrity, proves immensely appealing to the imagination, idealism and aspirations of the young, who have a right to encounter the faith in all its beauty, its intellectual richness and its radical demands.

    Here I would simply propose several points which I trust will prove helpful for your discernment in meeting this challenge.

    First, as we know, the essential task of authentic education at every level is not simply that of passing on knowledge, essential as this is, but also of shaping hearts. There is a constant need to balance intellectual rigor in communicating effectively, attractively and integrally, the richness of the Church’s faith with forming the young in the love of God, the praxis of the Christian moral and sacramental life and, not least, the cultivation of personal and liturgical prayer

    It follows that the question of Catholic identity, not least at the university level, entails much more than the teaching of religion or the mere presence of a chaplaincy on campus. All too often, it seems, Catholic schools and colleges have failed to challenge students to reappropriate their faith as part of the exciting intellectual discoveries which mark the experience of higher education. The fact that so many new students find themselves dissociated from the family, school and community support systems that previously facilitated the transmission of the faith should continually spur Catholic institutions of learning to create new and effective networks of support. In every aspect of their education, students need to be encouraged to articulate a vision of the harmony of faith and reason capable of guiding a life-long pursuit of knowledge and virtue. As ever, an essential role in this process is played by teachers who inspire others by their evident love of Christ, their witness of sound devotion and their commitment to that sapientia Christiana which integrates faith and life, intellectual passion and reverence for the splendor of truth both human and divine.

    In effect, faith by its very nature demands a constant and all-embracing conversion to the fullness of truth revealed in Christ. He is the creative Logos, in whom all things were made and in whom all reality “holds together” (Col 1:17); he is the new Adam who reveals the ultimate truth about man and the world in which we live. In a period of great cultural change and societal displacement not unlike our own, Augustine pointed to this intrinsic connection between faith and the human intellectual enterprise by appealing to Plato, who held, he says, that “to love wisdom is to love God” (cf. De Civitate Dei, VIII, 8). The Christian commitment to learning, which gave birth to the medieval universities, was based upon this conviction that the one God, as the source of all truth and goodness, is likewise the source of the intellect’s passionate desire to know and the will’s yearning for fulfilment in love.

    Only in this light can we appreciate the distinctive contribution of Catholic education, which engages in a “diakonia of truth” inspired by an intellectual charity which knows that leading others to the truth is ultimately an act of love (cf. Address to Catholic Educators, Washington, 17 April 2008). Faith’s recognition of the essential unity of all knowledge provides a bulwark against the alienation and fragmentation which occurs when the use of reason is detached from the pursuit of truth and virtue; in this sense, Catholic institutions have a specific role to play in helping to overcome the crisis of universities today. Firmly grounded in this vision of the intrinsic interplay of faith, reason and the pursuit of human excellence, every Christian intellectual and all the Church’s educational institutions must be convinced, and desirous of convincing others, that no aspect of reality remains alien to, or untouched by, the mystery of the redemption and the Risen Lord’s dominion over all creation.

    During my Pastoral Visit to the United States, I spoke of the need for the Church in America to cultivate “a mindset, an intellectual culture which is genuinely Catholic” (cf. Homily at Nationals Stadium, Washington, 17 April 2008). Taking up this task certainly involves a renewal of apologetics and an emphasis on Catholic distinctiveness; ultimately however it must be aimed at proclaiming the liberating truth of Christ and stimulating greater dialogue and cooperation in building a society ever more solidly grounded in an authentic humanism inspired by the Gospel and faithful to the highest values of America’s civic and cultural heritage. At the present moment of your nation’s history, this is the challenge and opportunity awaiting the entire Catholic community, and it is one which the Church’s educational institutions should be the first to acknowledge and embrace.

  49. PostCatholic says:

    I actually kind of hope your bishops find the horn and issue the hew and cry. It would certainly help further marginalize them in the election cycle, and I believe their waning political influence is very helpful for our society.

  50. JARay says:

    Much as I weep for the loss of Faith exhibited by many, if not most, of the Jesuits and also the people of Ireland, I do know that Faithful Jesuits can still be found and also Faithful Irish too.
    For anyone to be a PostCatholic is a condition too dreadful to contemplate.
    The words of Jesus concerning Judas should terrify anyone.

  51. BaedaBenedictus says:

    “My first experience as a Georgetown Law student was a walking tour of the House chamber with Father Drinan. Last year, one of the 1L orientation activities was a tour of the halls of Congress with the last Catholic priest elected to serve. Father Drinan took a group of us to the House floor and told us about his proudest legislative achievements in the very room in which they occurred. I think it speaks volumes about Father Drinan’s character and commitment to public service that he got involved in public office to spread the values of peace, equal treatment, and good will towards others.”

    -Edward Sebelius [Kathleen’s son]
    Georgetown Law Class of 2009


  52. BaedaBenedictus says:

    You know, I was thinking that the Holy See could make up a Doctrinal Preamble for the Jesuits to assign, but they could just bring out the old Oath Against Modernism.

  53. jhayes says:

    Baeda Benedictus, the Oath Against Modernism was revoked in 1967. No one is required to take it.

    People in some roles in the church now take this Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity:

  54. kiwiinamerica says:

    Not to worry, Father. Cardinal Wuerl is on the job here! Remember how Bishop McManus recently told Anna Maria College to disinvite Ted Kennedy’s widow who was due to speak there? Well Cardinal Wuerl will do the same here, trust me.

    No, don’t laugh…..seriously!!

    He’s right on top of things. He sure straightened out the mean priest who wouldn’t give Communion to that lesbian. That’s what I call a defender of the faith! He’ll straighten out Georgetown, too. Yes siree!

    Joking aside, it’s hard not to see the irony in all this. The train wreck which is the “Catholic” university has been essentially ignored by the American episcopate for the last four or more decades. It has been a monumental scandal. Now, precisely when a united front is needed, Georgetown flips the bird at the bishops. Coming on the heels of Notre Dame’s lauding of the abortionist-in-chief, Obama, it shows how catastrophic has been the damage wrought by these apostates and the bishops have no one to blame but themselves. The rotten fruit of their own pastoral ineptitude is now fully ripe.

  55. heway says:

    I have already sent in my complaint. I’m ashamed to say that I attended a Jesuit college, even if it was 60 years ago. I seldom hear of any funny business going on at Creighton in Omaha. Please do not paint all Jesuits with the same brush. Looking at the faculty, there are few Jesuits teaching at Georgetown and their faculty is loaded with what sound like communists.
    Jesuits have a way of teaching the existence of God which has been know to destroy or weaken the students faith. Of course this was many years ago – but did exist.

  56. SKAY says:

    Interesting to know that Sebelius’s son graduated from Georgetown.
    He has since joined a law firm located in Boston.
    Obviously there are so many things more important in the Catholic left wing academic world than true Catholic teachings.

  57. Rellis says:

    It’s now fair to ask whether Cardinal Wuerl is the worst archbishop in the United States. Who is worse?

  58. PostCatholic says:

    I don’t know whether it’s fair to say Georgetown has been ignored by the American episcopate. I remember James Cardinal Hickey and Bishop Bill Lori getting into several memorable fights with GU and with Bob Drinan, too–and winning.

    In any event, I’ll make some popcorn. Always entertaining to watch conjoined twins have a slap fight.

  59. s_schmude says:

    I work for the Jesuits. There is a resurgence if orthodoxy among the younger Jesuits and those in formation. I just pray that people… Especially some if those I see commenting here… remember to act charitably and not paint all SJs with the same brush. Someone said Fr. Pacwa is the exception. In my experience as a student and now employee of the Jesuits, the faithful priests are the rule. The “exceptions” just make the headlines.

  60. Denis says:

    Cdl. Wuerl is far too busy battling against dangers to the Church like the TLM and Father Guarnizo to waste his time on trivial matters like the complaints of mean conservatives about poor little Sibelius, who just wants to make sure that all children are wanted.

  61. catholicmidwest says:

    Dennis, you said “wanted.” Like as in having a price on their heads?

  62. catholicmidwest says:


    At this point, it’s incredibly complicated, and the answer is probably no, the local ordinary cannot do a lot that’s definitive about this, nor can the USCCB which has very little juridical power, in truth. The USCCB’s greatest trump card is its well-known name, which is just about its only strength in these matters, and even that’s a mixed-bag now.

    Catholic colleges and universities don’t have approval statutes in Rome that they have to comply with, be disbanded or go non-canonical with, like the LCWR, for instance. The oldest so-called Catholic colleges were allowed, early in the history of Catholicism in this country, to self-label themselves as Catholic because they were founded by religious orders, congregations, institutes and societies. It was seen as a good thing in those days. Later ones have it by virtue of being grandfathered out, as long as they are founded by a religious order, congregation, institute or society. The same for hospitals, soup kitchens etc etc.

    The difficulty is that if the ordinary wants to go in and correct the university, in this case, he only can do that if there is no involvement by the founding order (in this case b/c the Jesuits are an order), because he is not empowered to meddle in the affairs of a pontifically approved order, which the Jesuits are. The proper channels have to be followed for very good reasons which exceed the scope of my answer here. Not all religious congregations are of pontifical right; the bishop can correct those with diocesan right, but not those with pontifical right approval.

    So the situation waits on the Congregation in Rome, who could enter into the business of the Jesuits proper, including their apostolates which are part of the general pontifical approval that they have. However, Georgetown and most other large so-called Catholic institutions are no longer really run by religious orders; rather they’re run by lay boards with secular statutes and personnel. So Georgetown and the other quasi-Jesuit institutions that once were Jesuit apostolates are only marginally so now, depending on the arrangements that have been made. So the Congregation doesn’t have a free hand here and the possibilities for passing the buck and playing “hide the real rules” are staggering.

    The best thing that could happen for our sakes is that Georgetown and similar installations go non-canonical, however, they know that’s not in their own best interest, since their somewhat fictional Catholicism obtains students, donations and other funding for them.

    It’s a bad situation all the way around. And the sloppy way Catholics think about these things is a good part of the reason why this is the case. We need to think a lot more rationally about Catholic identity and purpose and that could go a long way toward resolving the sensibility of some of these seemingly impossible situations. AKA we need to learn to disinherit and dis-fund some of these rogue institutions as the heretic hangouts that they are, shrug our shoulders and move on.

  63. catholicmidwest says:

    PS, since the name “Catholic” has not been protected with any kind of real effort over the years, we’ve effectively lost control of it. If you don’t believe me, casually mention to any Episcopalian that you’re Catholic and you’ll hear one of the popular misuses of the word Catholic within 30 seconds. I don’t know whose fault this is, or even if it’s anyone’s fault, and I’m not into that anyway, so there you are. We have lost control of this word.

    Therefore, we need to develop, not replacement name, but another way of staking our identity to the church and each other, than merely using only that word, since it has become really rather meaningless. It needs to be that word plus some other thing or things that identifies us with the Church and with each other. It has to be demonstrable, measurable, discrete and quick.

    PS: One’s opinion of whether anyone has the proper traditional mindset doesn’t cut it because you can’t measure someone’s opinion of a mindset. If a person has to take the religious analog of the MMPI or write a thesis on the topic, it’s pretty much useless as an identifier.

  64. catholicmidwest says:

    Look around. What do other religious groups use? Amish use dress and transportation. Buddhists use festivals, holidays, meals and symbols. What can we use?

    PS, I have a suggestion. How about a plain crucifix around the neck, on a ring or on a bracelet. Unmistakeable, and not likely to be worn by someone who doesn’t believe, at least not for any length of time. Come in all sizes and all kinds of materials, at all prices and in lots of styles. Readily available online. Although you may be able to find a few at your local evangelical bookstore, they don’t usually prefer a crucifix. Wearing a crucifix is a singularly Catholic thing. And a glance does the trick; you know.

  65. Kathleen10 says:

    I have to give props to PostCatholic for a good comment, but there are many really good comments on this blog. You folks are certainly pithy AND dead accurate in so many ways. I admire it.

    Keeping up with the apostates is getting to be taxing for my memory. I find myself trying to remember, do I hate Georgetown or love it, is it pro-Catholic and faithful, or one of the “CINO” squad (Catholic in name only)? It’s too much, I can’t keep up. I should just hate em all, since all universities are LIKELY to be apostates these days, no matter what their origins.

    I find it hard to believe there is not something that someone can do. There are overseers for every entity under the Sun, including universities. There is always a chain of command, right up to God. I myself would love to see someone’s heretical plug pulled, just once. (to start) It ought to happen more than once though, if we are to stem the tide of outrages all around us. Gosh I hate to lay blame on our Bishops, but for so many years, even though I know I am far from informed on Catholic topics in any way, I have wondered why things seem to be spiraling away on a tide of liberalism, that no one in the hierarchy seemed to be concerned about at all. I know there are faithful Bishops, there are, but we need more of them, and they need to get going!
    This is an affront. The schools that invite pro-abortion or anti-traditional family or pro-gay lifestyle speakers are slapping the face of the entire Catholic church, if not God Himself. It is outrageous. It is most certainly scandalizing.

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