Skip to comments.Over 15,000 protest Georgetown’s invitation to Sebelius
Posted on 05/09/2012 3:34:15 PM PDT by NYer
More than 15,000 people have signed an open letter protesting Georgetown Universitys decision to invite U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to speak at an award ceremony during its commencement weekend.
Our courageous bishops have been vigilant against this threat and they deserve, at a minimum, the respect and support of prominent institutions that claim to be in communion with the Church, said CatholicVote.org president Brian Burch, who organized the letter.
In a May 8 e-mail to CNA, Burch explained that Georgetowns decision to invite Sebelius is surprising because her defense of the Obama administrations contraception mandate threatens the very freedom of institutions like Georgetown University.
Hospitals, universities and other institutions threatened by the mandate represent what it means to be Catholic, Burch said. They're inseparable from who we are as a Church.
The open letter warns of the danger of Catholic institutions honoring people who demonstrate a hostility and clear opposition to the freedoms for which the bishops have been fighting, and asks the Jesuit university to reconsider the invitation.
The letter, which was launched on May 7, had gained more than 15,500 signatures by May 8.
It was addressed to Georgetown president John J. DeGioia and the schools Public Policy Institute dean Edward Montgomery, as well as Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C. and Archbishop-designate William E. Lori of Baltimore.
Citing the present conflict between the Church and the Obama administration, the signatories voiced distress over the decision to welcome Sebelius as a speaker at Georgetowns Public Policy Institute award ceremony on May 18.
This conflict raises issues of fundamental concern that are wholly different from those issues that permit Catholics in good conscience to prudentially disagree as to how to best resolve them, they said.
Georgetown has drawn heavy criticism since announcing on May 4 that it had invited Sebelius to speak on commencement weekend.
The criticism largely stems from the fact that Sebelius recently issued a controversial federal mandate that will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs.
Catholic bishops from every diocese in the U.S. have spoken out against the mandate and the threat that it poses to religious freedom. They have warned that the rule could force Catholic hospitals, schools and charitable agencies to end their work.
A Georgetown spokesperson responded to the criticism by saying that that university does not have one main commencement speaker because each of its undergraduate and professional schools holds an individual graduation ceremony.
Sebelius is not speaking at a commencement ceremony, but at an awards ceremony, the spokesperson said.
Sebelius was originally listed on the Georgetown website under the heading, Speakers at Other Commencement Ceremonies. As opposition grew, this heading was changed to Speakers at Other Ceremonies.
The signatories warned that Georgetowns decision will only inflame this conflict, invite justified protests, cause great harm and detract from the necessary dialogue required to resolve the issues surrounding this mandate.
In addition, they said, it is fundamentally an act of disunity that represents an insult to the work of the bishops and other faithful Americans seeking to prayerfully resolve the conflict with the administration, and it should therefore be reconsidered.
Burch told CNA that faced with an assault on our most fundamental freedom, the unity of the Church is critical now more than ever.
Instead, Georgetown has invited discord and disunity by inviting the very person who could shut down their school with an avalanche of fines, he said.
"Even on a most basic self-interested level, one wonders why Georgetown would invite the fox into the henhouse."
This is a fluke, right?? Is that a pun or not??
Biden’s on our side? Who knew.
If our bishops were truly courageous, they would excommunicate not only Sebelius but also DeGioia, and would demand the immediate resignation of the entire Georgetown board of trustees.
They should have done this at Notre Dame 3 years ago too—excommunicated Jenkins and Notebaert (the ND president and chairman of the BOT) and demanded the resignation of all of the trustees and “life fellows”.
Great, Sebelius has the mentality of a dictator.
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
JOHN PAUL II
ON CATHOLIC UNIVERSITIES
On a practical note, the only thing administrators care about is money. Therefore, the best way to stop this is to organize, or at least offer to organize an alumni boycott of money to Georgetown.
Seriously, 20 years or more now, I heard from a potential hire for a job of president of a major university, that they were very blunt about it. “Your job is to fund raise for the university. On average every year you must raise $20,000,000 from alumni.” He withdrew his application.
That was only a few percent of the school’s budget. The rest he would have to get from student tuition, the state, and other sources. All through him. Every year.
This means that they are obsessed with money, and care far more about threats to their fund raising than anything else.
If they think that Sibelius will cost them serious money, they will cancel her right now.
Sebelius has already been excommunicated by her KANSAS bishop!
Scum like Sebelius are hoping against hope that they'll be excommunicated so they can play the, "the Church left me" game rather than clearly being the one who attacked the teaching of the Church without provocation.
Given the number of politicians who got away with support for abortion for decades, it's better allow them to stay in the Church but refuse them the Eucharist right along with a ton of other folks for other reasons. Then it's a general return to the rules that prevailed throughout most of history rather than something they can claim is targeted specifically at them.
Sebelius has already been excommunicated by her KANSAS bishop!"
Was this before or after the HHS mandate? I remember people calling for her excommunication when she was Governor and that her Bishop asked her to refrain from taking Communion but never heard she had actually been excommunicated. There is a difference between being refused Communion and Excommunication, right?
Only 15,000? There should be more.
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