Update (12:27 a.m.) In response to a request for comment, University spokesperson Stacy Kerr recommended using the quote from President John J. DeGioia‘s letter: “We are a university, committed to the free exchange of ideas.”
As if Georgetown’s relationship with Catholics couldn’t get any worse, Georgetown alum and Academy Award winning writer William Peter Blatty (COL ’50) threatens to file a canon lawsuit on Georgetown for its allegedly deteriorating Catholic identity. Blatty spoke to several media outlets stating that the University’s decision to host Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was the “last straw” in a series of building up tensions Georgetown has with several Catholic groups around the nation.
In an online petition, Blatty asks signatories to cease any donations to Georgetown. He claims that for the past decade the University has continually defied and broken Catholic canon law. “Georgetown is being dishonest. Together, we need to end that!,” Blatty writes on the petition. Canon law is a Catholic legal system with courts, lawyers, and judges, which does not have any binding power. Blatty claims that Georgetown has strayed too far from Catholic values for 21 years and his new organization may decide to submit a canon lawsuit asking the Church to revoke Georgetown’s “right to call itself Catholic.”
Blatty’s recently-founded organization is called The Father King Society: to Make Georgetown Honest, Catholic, and Better. In the website, there is a list of Georgetown’s “scandals” against Catholic teachings. Among these scandals in the list include performances of “the vile play The Vagina Monologues” as well as the University’s hosting of speakers such as Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and President Barack Obama. The organization alleges that all these speakers, who are either openly pro-choice or support abortion rights, prove Georgetown’s noncompliance with Catholic values.
As of yet, the University has not been available to respond.