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Petition Against Georgetown Reaches Pope Francis

Richard Ricciardi

Carly Andrews - published on 10/04/13 - updated on 06/07/17

The case is being led by Academy Award winner William Blatty

Academy Award winner William Peter Blatty, whose best-selling book and blockbuster film The Exorcist were situated at his alma mater Georgetown University, recently headed a petition submitted in Canon Law against the scandalous behaviour of the university.

Manuel Miranda, acting counsel to Blatty on the issue, has told Aleteia that the Canon Law Petition they submitted to Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington on 31 May 2013, has now been submitted to Pope Francis himself.

Aleteia interviewed Miranda in August where he explained that the petition was “submitted in prayer to the powerful intercessions of St. Jude Thaddeus and the miraculous intercession of Blessed John Paul II; Invoking the Spiritual Protection of the North American Martyrs.”

It is a petition drawn up in Canon Law, brought forward by William Blatty, on behalf of more than 2000 of the Roman Catholic Faithful.

Its purpose is to ask that “the Catholic Church will grant several 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.”

Miranda explains that the petition itself “is more than 200 pages and contains more than 480 footnotes, 99 appendices, 124 witness statements, and a commissioned 120-page institutional audit of Georgetown.”

“We have documented 23 years of Scandals and dissidence; more than 100 Scandals in the most recent years alone” he adds.

After receiving the petition, his Eminence, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, has given it the “green light” as well as “guidance” from the Archdiocese of Washington and has now put the whole case before the Holy Father.

In 2012, Cardinal Wuerl’s own Archdiocesan newspaper noted the un-catholic behaviour and attitude of Georgetown University today: “leadership and faculty find their inspiration in sources other than the Gospel and Catholic teaching” it read. “The vision guiding university choices does not clearly reflect the light of the Gospel and authentic Catholic teaching.”

According to Miranda, Georgetown University “has been captured by the ideology of radical autonomy.”

“It pervades everything” he continues. “Academic freedom is now prisoner to intolerant new orthodoxies, and Catholic moral teaching has surrendered to the dictatorship of moral relativism.”    

Both Blatty and Miranda are obviously extremely pleased that the case has been taken to Pope Francis.

Blatty noted “the very first remedy that we asked of the Archbishop of Washington, His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, was: ‘If the Holy Spirit leads you to it and your conscience will allow it, to declare publicly that Georgetown University is compliant with Ex corde Ecclesiae, orients its institutional initiatives according to standards that are consistent with the norms and morality of the Church, and lives up to the title ‘Catholic’.”

“His Eminence opted not to do that,” he added.

Pope Francis
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