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?
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