Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Blatty at re-release of his epic thriller "The Exorcist" in 2000.
Blatty at re-release of his epic thriller "The Exorcist" in 2000.
Photo credit:
(Photo by Newsmakers)
William Peter Blatty, author of the epic novel, The Exorcist, has had it with Georgetown University, his alma mater, according to FoxNews.com. He will file a canon law suit both with the Archdiocese of Washington and with the Vatican in an effort to have Georgetown's "Catholic" identity stripped from its university title.
Canon 808: No university, even if it is in fact catholic, may bear the title 'catholic university' except by the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.
The title, "Catholic" is a privilege not an expectation according to this canon, and falls under the purview of "competent ecclesiastical authority." In this case, the proper authority would be the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., under the leadership of Archbishop Donald Wuerl, who has been vocal about his stance on the HHS Mandate so intimately connected with Secretary Sebelius.
Georgetown did indeed host Sebelius on 18 May, after refusing to rescind its invitation to have her as a commencement speaker following a firestorm from thousands of infuriated Catholics. The University reported that Secretary Sebelius would be speaking to a group of students in the Public Policy Institute. However, LifeSiteNews.com reports that Georgetown does list Secretary Sebelius as one of the Commencement Speakers on its announcement for Commencement 2012.
For William Peter Blatty, this was "the last straw" with a university that he believes has lost its bearings. In an open letter on the website he developed just for this purpose, The Father King Society, he contends:
For 21 years now. Georgetown University has refused to comply with Ex corde Ecclesiaie (“From The Heart of the Church”), and, therefore, with canon law...
Many believe that to make Georgetown truly Catholic is to turn back the clock hands and somehow limit its very nature as a university, as if the notion of “Catholic” and “university” are new to each other, or inherently at odds. On the contrary, to make Georgetown “Catholic” is to move the clock forward; it is to make the University better than it now is! Of course, there are always those who are afraid of change, – who lack vision. They may need to step aside.
Blatty, in conjunction with the Cardinal Newman Society, will file his "canon law petition" to encourage Georgetown University to stop "being dishonest" and live up to its "Catholic identity". To assist in this effort, Blatty is asking people to sign a petition to act in their behalf.
This is a bold move by Blatty and the Cardinal Newman Society, one that the Archdiocese of Washington will have to address with great juridical care and ecclesial sensitivity.

, Arlington Catholicism Examiner

Kathy Vestermark is a Catholic writer with an MA in Theology. She is a wife and mother of six children, one with significant special needs. As an RCIA Coordinator/Instructor, Women's Bible Study Facilitator, and writer of two Catholic blogs, Kathy is an avid teacher of Catholicism. You can find...

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