There is an uproar about Obama speaking at Notre Dame, but didn't he just talk at Georgetown University?

I don’t get it. Is another Catholic university trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and invited this pro-abort President to speak on the economy to the college of business, and no has said anything about this??:shrug: Can someone explain to me why this is permissible, because I just don’t get it.

well unless i missed something i see 2 major differences

  1. at georgetown the purpose was to discuss and debate, thats always welcome

  2. georgetown didnt honor him with a degree

now i’m not trying to defend obama just pointing out the differences.

Exactly the reason. Caltholics will not bestow honorary degrees upon those who do not uphold our beliefs. (this includes non Catholics)

Lemme see, now. Georgetown was partially built by slaves and, according to the Chicago archdiocese website, turned away some early black priests who wanted to study there.

So I guess the president speaking at Georgetown is about time.

I live in a city with a Catholic University, it’s up to the Bishop of that Archdiocese to come down on them when they’re out of line, like ND is. Otherwise, the Liberals who run the school will continue to invite whoever they want and try to get away with other unCatholic behaviors. My 2 cents anyway…

Do you have a source that elaborates on this concept? I thought it was the responsibility of the Superior General of the Religious Institute governing the university…not the Bishop. (The Bishop would be responsible in cases where the university is run by a Diocesan Right Institute, or no Institute at all.)

FYI…the beautiful Healy Hall Admin Bldg, the landmark bldg. visible from all around Washington D.C. is named after Father Patrick Healy, S.J., a black priest (the first black Jesuit), and the first black university president in USA.

Also, James Augustine Healy , (1830-1900) his brother was a priest (Suplican Order)…the first African American priest ordained…who served in Boston…later he became Bishop of Portland Maine

Patrick Francis Healy Hall, Georgetown University
Location: 37th and O streets, NW

Patrick Francis Healy (1834-1910) was born into slavery in Georgia. His mother Eliza was also enslaved and his father Michael Healy, a white Irish slave owner, legally owned his mother and their children. According to the Healy family biographer, Eliza and Michael lived “faithfully as a married couple” until her death in 1850. In Georgia it was illegal for blacks and whites to marry.

He graduated from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and worked toward his goal of becoming a Jesuit priest. He traveled abroad and became fluent in Latin, French, Italian, and German.
Healy entered the Jesuit order in 1850. In 1866, as part of his Jesuit duties, he was sent to Georgetown College to teach philosophy. He became acting president in 1873. Within a year, he became president of Georgetown, the largest Catholic institution in the country and Washington, DC’s first college, founded in 1789. Healy transformed Georgetown into a modern university and retired in 1881. According to historian James O’Toole, it was not until the 1960s that Patrick Healy’s racial history was revealed. Since then he has been declared the first African American Jesuit and the first African American president of a predominantly white university.
Healy is buried in the Jesuit cemetery on the Georgetown University campus. Healy Hall, designed in the High Victorian style by Smithmeyer and Pelz, was listed on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites in 1964 and on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.


Pax Christi

Sorry, no documents, only recall an incident that came up a few years back and the Bishop jumped and told them if they wanted to be called Catholic, they needed to live up to its rules. Perhaps he was doing it on his own, either way, I applaud that type of action…

The Bishop definitely has the right to do that – but in many cases, removing the “Catholic” designation from a university would be the only recourse that he has, other than placing restrictions on the the entire order’s activities in the diocese. He probably does not have fine-grained authority over the daily operations of the university (he only has the right to approve or disapprove it.)

In this instance, withdrawing approval from the university is analogous to killing a fly with a nuclear warhead…

The Bishop can render an opinion, however has no authority over the College. It would be up to the President of the college to take the advisement to heart.

In the case of Notre Dame, Father Jenkins has been asked not to give BO an honorary degree (and do ‘dis-invite’ him) by Bishop D’arcy of the South Bend-Fort Wayne archdiocese (in which ND is located), Archbishop Buechlein, Archdiocese of Indianapolis and 22+ other bishops across the United States and the bishop of his order and yet he still feels that he has made a correct decision in his actions.

BTW, he did not announce this to any of the bishops until after BO accepted. Doesn’t that sound hinky? He knew that what he was doing was going to get him into hot water.

Not only is he proabortion, but he is also destroying our economy. Why is he speaking about business or the economy? Doesn’t seem qualified to do that.

Nice logic. Let me sum up.

Georgetown failed in the past to stand strong against those who would dehumanize an entire class of human beings so they might as well continue to behave that way and ingnore the injustice against the group that TODAY is considered OK to dehumanize and treat as chattle property (i.e. the unborn).

Too bad people don’t LEARN anything from history.

BTW, Georgetown deserves some rasberries too. Recent reports indicate that they agreed to cover up catholic symbols so that BO wouldn’t have to suffer the indignity of beeing seen on camera with them. sigh.

It’s surely too soon to assess the effect of his actions on the economy. And clearly he is in a position to affect the economy. The President of the U.S. is an appropriate person for any university to invite to speak about issues of national interest. As another poster pointed out, there’s a huge difference between inviting someone as a speaker during the school year (since students need to be exposed to a bunch of different opinions) and inviting a commencement speaker, which has huge symbolic value and usually goes along with an honorary degree.


I read that they agreed to remove the IHS monogram which is normally on the archway above the dais where the President delivered his speech. Were other symbols removed or covered up?

I like to think of the Bishop as the Sheriff and the Archdiocese as the Town. I agree, he has the right to speak up, if he doesn’t, who in authority really will?

Back in 2003, Cardinal Arinze spoke at Georgetown’s commencement. And there was a backlash. This is a response to that backlash.

The “New Orthodoxy” of Dissent

by James Hitchcock
May 25, 2003 Prof. at St.Louis U.

If one listens long enough to people claiming to be oppressed, eventually one often hears a demand not just for liberation but for the right to oppress the alleged oppressors. Recent events at Georgetown University in Washington bear this out.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, an official of the Holy See, gave a commencement address at Georgetown, which is a Jesuit institution. As is customary at such affairs, he urged the graduates not to be narrowly materialistic but to cultivate spiritual goods in their lives. In particular he exalted loving family life. So far, so good.

But in one paragraph of a brief speech, Cardinal Arinze noted also that the family has enemies and that the phenomena of abortion, contraception, infanticide, euthanasia, pornography, homosexuality, sodomy, fornication, adultery, irregular unions and divorce undermine its sacredness. At that, Georgetown’s roof caved in.

Seventy faculty members sent a letter to university officials protesting the cardinal’s “inappropriate remarks”, and one professor, a former Jesuit priest who now presents himself as a priest of “the American Catholic Church” who blesses “gay marriages”, was especially offended. A dean then lamely replied that the cardinal “had not tried to hurt anyone”, but “that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen”, and she promised to meet with all those who might have been hurt. Judging from her comments, it is a fairly safe bet that, if university officials had it to do over again, they would not invite Cardinal Arinze.

For years Catholic universities have routinely chosen, as commencement speakers, people who are openly pro-abortion or otherwise at odds with Catholic teaching. The inevitable protests are met with a standard defense of “academic freedom”, the claim that a university is supposed to be a place where all questions can be discussed freely. But Georgetown, it seems, will not affirm that in the case of Cardinal Arinze.

If academic freedom has any meaning, it surely cannot mean that people have a right not to have their feelings hurt by certain ideas. On the contrary, the usual argument is that controversial ideas are the only kind which need the guarantee of freedom. If Georgetown’s speaker had, for example, denounced the pro-life movement, liberals in the university would be praising the speech as an act of courage and honesty.

Catholic universities have supposedly come a long way toward educational maturity, and indeed they have – all the way to the point where the suppression of ideas is seen as a legitimate, even necessary, condition of freedom. (Anyone who can understand this is qualified to run a modern university.)

Most of those offended by Cardinal Arinze’s remarks presumably reject Catholic teachings on the moral subjects which he briefly cited. Usually such people are called “dissenters”. But I have long thought that term to be a misnomer. Dissent, properly understood, means that one recognizes that there is such a thing as orthodoxy but disagrees with it. The dissenter is then someone who has chosen to occupy a rather marginal place in the community. Today’s theological dissenters, however, have set themselves up as definers of a new orthodoxy.

Cardinal Arinze is the highest-ranking African prelate in the Church and is often mentioned as a possible future pope. But amazingly, according to his critics, he has no right to appear at a professedly Catholic university and, almost in passing, affirm official Catholic doctrine. The dissenters have moved from claiming the right to disagree to insisting that no one has a right to affirm Catholic teachings. Orthodox ideas are not to be protected against the attacks of dissenters, but dissenters are to be protected even from the mildest affirmations of orthodoxy.

What does all this say about Ex Corde Ecclesiae [From the Heart of the Church], the Holy See’s document concerning Catholic higher education? Over and over again Catholic educators have assured us that the document is unnecessary, because faculty of Catholic colleges fully accept the teachings of the Church. But, as the Georgetown incident makes clear, they sometimes have a funny way of showing it.

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