Saturday, June 1, 2013

Canon Law Case filed against Georgetown University

This is a good sign, and reminds us Orthodox Christians to speak out when we see false or misleading teachings, and outright heresy, being taught or preached by Orthodox instructors, clerics, and even bishops if necessary. 

My book, Facing Islam, was written precisely to counter very soft and erroneous teachings being promulgated by certain Orthodox clergy, hierarchs and academics, affirming that Muslims worship the same God as proclaimed by Orthodox Christianity, and calling for “religious dialogue” with Muslims.  One American bishop has reportedly gone so far as to state that Islam and Orthodoxy are “90% the same.” 

But that’s a lengthy article all its own which I’ll save for another day. 

If you haven’t read Facing Islam yet, I encourage you to order it. It presents a clear, multi-faceted argument against the “Same God” heresy; it documents and warns against uncritical religious dialogue with Islam; it examines and exposes the claims of Muhammad to be a true prophet; and it presents a positive, uniquely Orthodox Christian, perspective and way forward during our difficult times.

William Peter Blatty deserves credit for standing up for the integrity of his faith. We should all be prepared to do the same. 

Two articles follow:

by John Nolte,

William Peter Blatty, the Academy-Award winner who wrote 1973's "The Exorcist," graduated from Georgetown University in 1950 and has financially supported his alma mater for years. In May of last year, though, Blatty announced he was preparing a canon lawsuit against the school. On Friday, Blatty kept his promise.

The petition submitted to Cardinal Donald Weurl, is signed by 1200 individuals, including Georgetown  students and alumni. There are 198 pages from 124 witnesses that document over twenty years worth of incidents that Blatty claims prove Georgetown is only Catholic in name. With Blatty's petition is a 120 page document prepared by the Cardinal Newman Society summarizing Georgetown's violations of canon law.

This entire endeavor took over a year.

While most remember "The Exorcist" for its green vomit and crucifix masturbation, at heart, the blockbuster horror film (that has lost none of its power) remains one of the most pro-Christian/Catholic films ever made. It is a story where both God and the Devil are very real, and a priest who is losing his faith finds it in the evil possessing an innocent. After the power of Christ compels the demon to leave the child and possess the priest, reaffirmed in his faith, the priest sacrifices his own life to destroy the evil within him.

In an interview last year with Catholic Education Daily, Blatty was asked if he saw a parallel between "The Exorcist" and what he has witnessed happen over the last two decades to his beloved Georgetown. With the kind of moral relativism fresh in his mind that would see a Catholic university invite Kathleen Sebelius (a supporter of something as evil as partial birth abortion) as a commencement speaker, Blatty answered:
Yes, yes, there is a parallel. But imagine it a different way. Think of all the souls that were not saved; all the minds that were not awakened over these past two or three decades as Georgetown drifted. Think of the great disservice that we have all done by being silent, ineffectual and comfortable …and doing nothing while the other side organized and took Georgetown away from the Church.
In the Friday press release announcing the suit, Blatty includes a letter that shows just how serious he is. He asks alumni to cease any donations to Georgetown for a full year and makes clear that his petition asks for only one of two results: That Georgetown comply with canon law or be stripped of its right to call itself a Catholic and Jesuit institution.

Naturally, the outcome Blatty and all of us truly desire is to see the Catholic university become Catholic again. But if it won't, it simply must stop calling itself Catholic.

What could be a greater tool of the devil than a church or school that assures souls they are saved when they are not?

Article from the Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education Daily newsletter:

A canon law petition asking Cardinal Donald Wuerl to rescue Georgetown University's Catholic identity or declare that it can no longer refer to itself as Catholic was delivered to the Archdiocese of Washington today, a group of Georgetown alumni, students, parents, faculty and others has announced.

Distinguished Georgetown alumnus William Peter Blatty, an Academy Award winner and author of The Exorcist, announced in May 2012 the formation of the Father King Society and its plans to file a complaint under the Catholic Church's canon law.  The completed petition documents abuses of Catholic identity at Georgetown University and non-compliance with Church law for Catholic universities.  The group is seeking remedies "including, if made necessary, the removal or suspension of top-ranked Georgetown's right to call itself Catholic and Jesuit in its fundraising and representations to applicants," according to leaders.

The document is signed by more than 1200 individuals.  It includes 198 pages, 476 footnotes, 91 appendices and 124 witness statements documenting 23 years of "scandals and dissidence," the King Society reported.

Submitted with the petition is a 120-page dossier prepared by The Cardinal Newman Society at Blatty's request, summarizing Georgetown scandals documented by the Society over several years.  The Newman Society and canon law experts were consulted for advice by the King Society throughout the year-long process of preparing the brief.

Neither the canon law petition nor the Cardinal Newman Society dossier will be made public at this point in time.

"Ignoring the magnitude of what is at stake in losing a major university like Georgetown to the well-organized efforts that are fundamentally anti-Catholic, some well-meaning friends or earnest Jesuit might want to point to the liturgies, the chaplains, the Knights of Columbus chapter, and so on," Blatty told The Cardinal Newman Society.  "Georgetown administrators wish to assure us that they speak to the Archbishop and visit Rome regularly.  We know the litany all too well.  It describes a Potemkin village."

Over the past year, Blatty and his group rallied the support of the Georgetown community and others concerned for the University to join the canon law petition.  The King Society's website includes a letter from Blatty and descriptions of Georgetown's historical ties to the Jesuits, the Washington Archdiocese and the Vatican.

Manuel A. Miranda, who serves as counsel to Blatty, said, "What is evident is that Georgetown University has been captured by the ideology of radical autonomy.  It pervades everything.  Academic freedom is now prisoner to intolerant new orthodoxies, and Catholic moral teaching has surrendered to the dictatorship of moral relativism."

After the King Society announced its intentions in 2012, The Cardinal Newman Society was granted an exclusive interview with Blatty about the petition, his motivations, and role as a Georgetown University alumnus.

The press release about today's delivery of the petition is available from the King Society here.