Dossier Exposes Georgetown’s Anti-Catholic Identity

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  January 25, 2017   

Justifies lawsuit filed by The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty

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WASHINGTON ( - A newly released dossier, which supports a canonical petition against Georgetown University, is revealing the Jesuit institution's deplorable lack of Catholic identity.

The report, released January 20, documents the university's anti-Catholic personnel and practices. This report supports grounds for a canonical lawsuit filed with the Congregation for Catholic Education in 2013. The congregation's secretary, Abp. Angelo Zani, responded, "Your communications to this Dicastery in the matter of Georgetown University ... constitutes a well-founded complaint. Our Congregation is taking the issue seriously and is cooperating with the Society of Jesus in this regard."

William Peter Blatty, Georgetown alumnus and author of the bestselling book turned into the hit film The Exorcist, asked the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) to gather primary evidence for the canonical petition. The 124-page dossier was put together by CNS, which has been reporting on the problems at Georgetown for more than 20 years.


Blatty's petition was seeking to shore up Georgetown's Catholic identity or else have the university no longer call itself Catholic. Upon Blatty's death January 12, CNS updated the internet links referencing the report's research and made it public on January 20.
Upon release of the document, CNS president Patrick Reilly renewed Blatty's concern, saying, "Bill Blatty did not live to see the fruit of his efforts, but we pray that his complaints will ultimately lead to a renewal of Georgetown's Catholic identity."

Reilly added, "Bill loved his alma mater, and that's why he simply could not be quiet while scandal after scandal continued. He wanted to see a renewal at Georgetown and Catholic universities nationwide. We release this report with the very same hope for the future."

Many of the personnel hired were demonstrably opposed to Catholic teaching. 

As the saying goes, "personnel is policy," and at Georgetown many of the personnel hired were demonstrably opposed to Catholic teaching. Using more than 400 footnotes, the report meticulously documents Georgetown's hiring of anti-Catholic faculty and staff. The list of hires includes: 

  • A professor who was also an associate director at Planned Parenthood
  • A professor who was also a policy attorney for a pro-abortion group
  • Professors who advocated for physician-assisted suicide
  • A professor of ethics who advocated for abortion rights
  • A law professor who advocated for gender ideology and same-sex marriage
  • A professor who was an open lesbian and an advocate for "gay and bisexual activity"
  • A Catholic priest who was in a same-sex "marriage" and officiated at same-sex weddings
  • A priest who cofounded a group to oppose U.S. bishops on same-sex marriage

Other areas of concern covered in the dossier involved the board of trustees. Paul Tagliabue, former chairman of Georgetown's board of directors and currently the board's vice-chairman, donated extensively to pro-abortion groups. He and his wife have given more than $1 million to "gay and lesbian activities at Georgetown," according to the report.

The research also shows the anti-Catholic activity promoted by the university's student body. Several of the student organizations sponsored by Georgetown were found to be advocating for abortion, same-sex "marriage" and contraception.

The report summary explicitly notes that it doesn't document "the many good and healthy activities at Georgetown."

"It can be argued, however, that only a minor portion of these activities appear to be distinctively Catholic," the report states, "and we leave it to Georgetown to demonstrate the strengths of its Catholic identity, should it choose to do so."


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