The Sad Demise of a Once-Catholic University
At Georgetown, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning in the U.S., the official teachings of the church against homosexuality have been set aside. Wednesday is the occasion for a “Lavender Graduation” event, described as “a special ceremony for LGBTQ and Ally undergraduate and graduate students,” in order to “acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and unique experiences at Georgetown University.”
Before this eyebrow-raising event was set to occur, Georgetown University hosted Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, which is responsible for 40 percent of all reported abortions committed in the United States. The student newspaper reported that Richards spoke “by invitation” from the student-sponsored Lecture Fund, which is funded by the university, and that she spoke about “reproductive justice” and “women’s reproductive rights.”
Meanwhile, messages written in chalk and appearing on campus in support of conservative causes are now being investigated and disciplinary action against those responsible could be taken.
The “Lavender Graduation” event, sponsored by the campus LGBTQ Resource Center, seems to run directly contrary to Catholic and Christian teaching on homosexuality. In the New Testament, St. Paul taught that homosexual acts are degrading and unnatural. The Catholic Catechism declares, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
Regarding abortion, the Catholic Catechism declares, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
In regard to the appearance of Planned Parenthood President Richards, a statement of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. said in part:
“What we lament and find sadly lacking in this choice by the student group is any reflection of what should be an environment of morality, ethics and human decency that one expects on a campus that asserts its Jesuit and Catholic history and identity.
“The apparent unawareness of those pushing the violence of abortion and the denigration of human dignity that there are other human values and issues being challenged in the world lends credence to the perception of the ‘ivory tower’ life of some on campus. This unfortunately does not speak well for the future. One would hope to see this generation of Georgetown graduates have a far less self-absorbed attitude when facing neighbors and those in need, especially the most vulnerable among us.”
However, there is no indication that Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, D.C., will do anything to strip Georgetown of its Catholic affiliation.
The Cardinal Newman Society, whose mission is to promote and defend faithful Catholic education, declared that Georgetown University officials should “take full responsibility for the scandalous, immoral and anti-Catholic comments” made by Richards in her address. The group said university officials “should make immediate changes to their speaker policy to uphold truth and avoid endangering the souls of their students.”
Patrick J. Reilly, founder and president of the Cardinal Newman Society, said in response to the invitations to Richards and other left-wing “progressives,” that “Besides a clear bias in the choice of speakers, there’s no sense of moral truth, which is the central point of a Catholic university. Either you accept Catholic moral teaching as true or you do not. In the case of Georgetown, they simply do not.”
He added, “In bringing in someone with such a horrendous record of not only advocating ideas that would be contrary to Catholic teaching, but is herself responsible for the deaths of more than two million babies under her watch, Georgetown demonstrates that it does not understand the nature of a Catholic university.”
But problems on campus go far beyond inviting notorious leftists and pro-abortionists.
During a recent official tour of the campus, the tour leader, a Georgetown student, boasted of how the campus had featured speeches by such prominent political figures as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. No conservative speakers were mentioned.
Sanders spoke to Georgetown on the subject of “democratic socialism.” The speech was sponsored by the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service, which says it is “dedicated to reconnecting young people with the idea that politics is a noble vehicle for public service.”
The university launched a “Hillary Rodham Clinton Fellowship Program,” and Mrs. Clinton is the Honorary Founding Chair of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Georgetown is even giving awards named after the former Secretary of State, designated the “Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security.”
Georgetown is also associated with a mystical Jesuit philosopher known as Teilhard de Chardin, who tried to combine the theory of evolution with the Christian faith. Current visitors to the Intercultural Center at Georgetown University find his words prominently featured on a wall: “The Age of Nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the Earth.”
The Teilhard de Chardin quote has been described by advocates of a New Age or post-Christian philosophy as a “global mind shift” away from nation-states to a “global community,” or “global consciousness.” Prospective students are openly told that they will be groomed for success as “global citizens.”
While the emphasis of a Georgetown University education now appears to be global in scope, the institution traces its founding to John Carroll, whose cousin, Daniel Carroll, was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. John Carroll’s founding of what was then Georgetown College “coincides with the birth of our nation,” the official history says. “In 1789, Carroll secured the deed to 60 acres of land on a hilltop overlooking the village of Georgetown. He was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore in 1808.”
Today, protecting America and its national sovereignty is a thing of the past. Georgetown University this month announced the launch of the “Undocumented Student Resource website,” designed to “provide information and resources for undocumented current and prospective Georgetown students.”
The term “undocumented students” means they are in the U.S. illegally.
Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson declared, “As a Catholic and Jesuit institution, we have a unique responsibility to welcome and support all of our students, regardless of immigration status.” The Office of Undergraduate Admissions says, “Immigration status does not have an impact on the admissions process.”
But it appears that some more conservative-oriented students, including those supporting Donald J. Trump, could find themselves in trouble. Campus liberals and “progressives” are reacting with dismay and anger over the reports that graffiti with messages such as “Trump ’16 Build the Wall” were found on campus buildings, including a university townhouse. Another message written in chalk on campus was an expression of support for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
The campus police announced an immediate investigation and one student declared, “It’s awful, disgusting, and we already reached out to facilities, etc. to get it removed.”
The student paper reported that the university’s “Speech and Expression Policy” prohibits speech that somehow threatens people or is perceived as “grossly obscene” to members of the Georgetown community.
Indeed, the “Speech and Expression Policy” declares that “expression that is indecent or is grossly obscene or grossly offensive on matters such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation is inappropriate in a university community and the University will act as it deems appropriate to educate students violating this principle.”
It turns out that the Richards appearance and the Lavender Graduation event are only two of the more recent scandals that have occurred at the Catholic institution. A movement was launched in 2015 that objected to the university calling itself Catholic, and asked the Vatican to take action. That now seems unlikely, considering the fact that current Pope Francis is a Jesuit who cited the mystical views of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his environmental encyclical “Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home.”
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