|William Peter Blatty in 1974|
Georgetown gave me the gift of a liberal education that included the keys of reason to unlock the mysteries of faith. Throughout an undeservedly wonderful life, I have been guided by the light of my Georgetown education, grounded firmly, as I had been even in my youth, in the unmatched intellectual wealth of the Catholic Church. Each time I faltered — as I often did, sometimes grievously — that light never failed to come to my rescue. What I owe Georgetown, however, is nothing compared to what she owes her founders and the Christ of Faith. It grieves me deeply that my alma mater is failing so scandalously in its debt to both, as well as to the militant Jesuits still buried there who made it so special for so long. Georgetown today seems to take pride in insulting the Church and offending the faithful. I know that some students, or the earnest Jesuit, will point out the liturgies, the chaplains, the Knights of Columbus chapter and so on. Administrators assure me that they speak to the archbishop and visit Rome regularly. I know the litany all too well. But it describes a Potemkin village, complete now with long, waving banners.
Those who believe this illusion seem satisfied with their little Catholic ghetto. It contrasts so starkly with the archdiocese’s view of things. On May 10, its official publication stated plainly that, at Georgetown today, “leadership and faculty find their inspiration in sources other than the Gospel and Catholic teaching,” and that “the vision guiding university choices does not clearly reflect the light of the Gospel and authentic Catholic teaching.”
Of course, the decimation of “Catholic” began long ago when we first looked with envy toward Harvard and reduced the Jesuit curriculum. The dissidents came later, some in Roman collars and others who found personal gain in the movement against Church authority. Georgetown galloped toward secularism; even crucifixes disappeared from classrooms.