Cdl. Wuerl calls out Georgetown over selection of Sebelius as speaker

Statement from the Archdiocese of Washington
May 15, 2012

During the past week there has been much in the national and local news regarding the controversial selection of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to be a featured speaker at an awards ceremony at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute. Yesterday, the President of the University, John J. DeGioia, issued a public statement in response to the concerns, objections and even outrage that have been expressed. 

The Archdiocese of Washington reserved public comment to permit Georgetown University and its sponsor, the Society of Jesus, the opportunity to address the controversy. While the explanation of how this unfortunate decision was made is appreciated, it does not address the real issue for concern – the selection of a featured speaker whose actions as a public official present the most direct challenge to religious liberty in recent history and the apparent lack of unity with and disregard for the bishops and so many others across the nation who are committed to the defense of freedom of religion.

Contrary to what is indicated in the Georgetown University President’s statement, the fundamental issue with the HHS mandate is not about contraception. As the United States Bishops have repeatedly pointed out, the issue is religious freedom. Secretary Sebelius’ mandate defines religious ministry so narrowly that our Catholic schools and universities, hospitals and social service ministries do not qualify as “religious enough” to be exempt. This redefinition of religion penalizes Catholic organizations because they welcome and serve all people regardless of their faith. Ironically, because of Georgetown’s commitment to open its doors to Catholic and non-Catholic students alike, the university fails to qualify as a religious institution under the HHS mandate.

Given the dramatic impact this mandate will have on Georgetown and all Catholic institutions, it is understandable that Catholics across the country would find shocking the choice of Secretary Sebelius, the architect of the mandate, to receive such special recognition at a Catholic university. It is also understandable that Catholics would view this as a challenge to the bishops.

It is especially distressing to think that the university’s Public Policy Institute would be unaware of this national debate since the mandate was published last August. Such a radical redefining of ministry should prompt Georgetown, as a Catholic and Jesuit university, to do more to challenge the mandate and speak up for freedom of religion.



Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:12 AM By Clinton 
You know you’ve gone off the rails when Donald Cardinal Wuerl is calling you out. He’s not exactly a paragon of Catholic orthodoxy. How long has it been since Georgetown was an actual Catholic university?

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 3:15 AM By JR
A Heritical University inviting a Catholic Heritic. Excomunicate her and pull the Catholic identity from the university, PERIOD.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:26 AM By Juergensen
Cardinal Wuerl allows open and notorious abortionist and homosexualist politicians in Washington DC – such as Nancy Pelosi – to legislate sodomy and abortion during the week and receive and profanate the Holy Eucharist on Sundays in churches across his Archdiocese, in flagrant violation of Canon 915. Georgetown allowing Sebelius to speak arguably pales in comparison.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:30 AM By Gabriel Espinosa 
When will the faithful Jesuits finally SPEAK OUT!!!

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:55 AM By JMJ
When the good Cardinal becomes a Man of God and do what ever he can to prevent Jesus from being received in a sacrilege manner that these ‘catholic’ politicians are doing, even if it means using Canon 915, then, he might have something to say. Right now he is just sitting on the fence trying to save face with those up there on Capital Hill. GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!! +JMJ+

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:22 AM By MacDonald
Way back, Archbishop Wuerl (conservative) was sent to replace Archbishop Hunthausen (liberal) up in Seattle, so people should not accuse Cardinal Wuerl of being some wild liberal. I myself would not want to be a bishop in today’s Church, and I pray for those who hold this sacred office. God help them navigate the pitfalls that are part of our daily life — even as they were part of life when our country was young, and Catholicism itself was outlawed. Perhaps the BIGGEST difference now is that fewer people are even willing to LISTEN to our bishops, including Catholics on the right and the left. Instead, they form their own version of Catholicism, calling it “independent” like the “American Catholic Church” which misleads the faithful by using the word Catholic, only to promote many things the Holy See does not. They do their own thing, ordain whom they please (women, gays, schismatics), and then offer the “sacraments” (for a fee) to anyone who wants to “feel” Catholic but ignore the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:27 AM By Dan
“It is especially distressing to think that the university’s Public Policy Institute would be unaware of this national debate since the mandate was published last August.” My dear Cardinal, Georgetown’s Public Policy Instiute was well aware of the national debate. That’s why they went with Sebelius. “Such a radical redefining of ministry should prompt Georgetown, as a Catholic and Jesuit university…” Catholic?!!? I hate to break it to you, Eminence, but Georgetown is no F.U S., and will embrace the HHS mandates, as symbolically indicated by its embrace of Sebelius. Forgive me for asking, Eminence, but where have you been the last 50 years?

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:31 AM By JLS
“our” Catholic schools, hospitals, social services? What is Cdl Wuerl thinking here? These institutions belong to the government which funds them.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:49 AM By PEG
The article is the exact statement by Cardinal Weurl that is posted on his Diocese web site. So what action does he intend to take? This is very weak. Under Cardinal Weurl there are no consequences for heretical or schismatic actions. He needs to tell Georgetown U that they may no longer use the name “Catholic” when they do not adhere to the CCC.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 7:11 AM By Larry
Is this a sign that Georgetown ultimately intends to accept and comply with the contraception mandate?

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:32 AM By Don Guillermo
A shepherd who does not protect his flock is as guilty as the wolf.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:51 AM By Nancy 
It seems to me that while the Vatican was investigating the women religious in this country, they should have been looking into the Jesuit order. From what I see and read over the last several years, they are far more liberal and rebellious than the Sisters.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:56 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
It is good to see that very few here are fooled by Wuerl’s attempt at being seen as orthodox. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:58 AM By Catholic Joe
The question isn’t whether GU intends to comply with the mandate…The questions are why does the Bishop permit Georgetown to identify as Catholic and permit Georgetown to administer sacraments on campus? St. Tarcicius protected Christ with his life so He would not be dragged through the mud.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 9:19 AM By Rick DeLano
Boy. Real teeth. Bet Biden’s shivering in his boots now.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 9:22 AM By Just sayin’
Who is the Jesuit provincial or other superior responsible for Georgetown? Shouldn’t he be asked to enforce discipline and rescind the Sebelius invitation? (Yes, of course it’s totally unlikely he would; but still, isn’t he the responsible authority?)

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 9:24 AM By Just sayin’
Isn’t this statement from the Archdiocese unsigned? Did Cardinal Wuerl really affix his name to it? If he didn’t sign the statement, why didn’t he?

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 9:51 AM By diotima
jls: yesterday you asked where “love the sinner, hate the sin,” comes from. it is from the City of God by Augustine, 14.6.20f. do you consider a statement by Augustine a “magisterial” proclamation?

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 10:19 AM By Delilah
Please remember that many politicians including Sebelius have been “warned” by their bishops about presenting themselves for Holy Communion. We must remember that we can’t judge the state of someone’s soul when they present themselves for Eucharist. It is the responsibility of the bishop to explain that to receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin is committing sacrilege and thereby they are damning their own souls to hell. Pax

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 10:24 AM By Elizabeth
What about Ex Corde Ecclessiae do these so callled ‘Catholic’ Universities don’t understand???? Time for real action…………take away their ‘Catholic’ identity. Pray for Cardinal Weurl and all our Bishops and Priests!!!

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 10:27 AM By Dan
“Way back, Archbishop Wuerl (conservative) was sent to replace Archbishop Hunthausen (liberal) up in Seattle, so people should not accuse Cardinal Wuerl of being some wild liberal.” MacDonald, I don’t believe anyone here is making this accusation; rather, that the Cardinal is simply feckless in the face of powerful opposition to Catholicism by people and institutions which carry the name.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:05 PM By Dave N.
Since Cdl. Wuerl will do absolutely nothing about this, the letter basically amounts to whining—and will be completely ignored by Georgetown Univ. In the long run, Cdl. Wuerl’s INaction only further erodes the credibility and moral authority of the bishops.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:46 PM By St. Christopher
Cardinal Wuerl, and many bishops, wrongly state the true issue of concern — which is, that Sebelius (a self-professed “practicing Catholic”) stands for the Obama Administration’s push for unfettered access of the entire world to contraception materials and techniques. Certainly, religious liberty is a signal concern for all people of faith, but it is not the Catholic issue. Instead, the faithful Catholic need only look at the bishops virtual schism: it is the invented “Office of Bishops” versus the Vatican since Vatican II. What? What does this mean? It means that particularly since Humanae Vitae, the bishops of the world, under the banner of being “pastoral” simply refuse to preach salvation (and the method and manner of attaining same) to their Church members. What the Bishops, and Cdl. Wuerl, should be publickly opposing is the fact of contraception, not only that the Government is forcing the availability of same through Church insurance policies. It is the complete indifference, and hostility, of bishops and priests to Humanae Vitae, and other Papal directions and policies (such as Summorum Pontificum) that emboldens President Obama to move into the moral and institutional vacum that the bishops have created. And, similarly, the Church is being destroyed from within, as well, as can be seen by the formal statements of disobedience from hundreds of priests in Austria, Germany, Australia and elsewhere. Of course, the Vatican is heavilty at fault, for seeing the Pope as only one among other bishops and for delaying integration of SSPX into the Church. Cdl Wuerl is laughably wrong in his “outrage” (although he did a good anger job on the fine priest that refused to give communion to a practicing lesbian buddist, at the funeral of her Mother). Things could not be sadder for the Church in America.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 1:54 PM By Catherine
MacDonald says, “I myself would not want to be a bishop in todays church” = code excuse language for, “I’ll write anything to make the weakest lame excuses for shepherds who have not guarded the Deposit of Faith.” Then MacDonald writes, “God help them *navigate* the *pitfalls* that are a part of our daily life.” *Navigate* and” *pitfalls* is code language for *stay close buddies* with many of our dear friends in the Democratic party while we spinelessly give a lame weak hint of an appearance that we are sometimes Catholic.” When a Prince of the Church refers to this continuing mockery of the Catholic faith as an “unfortunate decision,” this language is as disgustingly weak as it comes.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 2:09 PM By Dana
Oh, come on, St.Christopher, stop giving in to despair. When has it ever been easy to be a real Catholic, loyal to Rome and living by Church teachings and traditions, faithful to the Bible and most of all to God? How many of us do that? We’re all way too comfortable in the way we sit back and find fault with our bishops, but when was the last time you wrote to the president of Georgetown to let them know what you think? Gave money to Cardinal Newman Society to help reawaken Catholic identity in our schools and universities? When was the last time you prayed for your bishop? I’m not singling you out…I’m talking about all of us. And look how the Washington Post has attacked Cardinal Wuerl for his mild reproach about Georgetown. It’s often the laity throughout history that is the most faithful in serving the church…weak bishops are nothing new. If you want a better bishop, pray for him! And God bless you! I always appreciate what you contribute because you’re such a thoughtful person…just ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not in your own understanding” because God is ALWAYS in control.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:28 PM By JLS
diotima, in that very section St Augustine says this: “whoever is evil is evil by vice”. The issue can be skirted by your one quote, without the full context. You have not answered my question, which I posed several times, most recently to MD, which is: Since God condemns souls, how could it be said that we should separate the sinner from the sin? St Augustine explains this, but not the way you interpret it.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:39 PM By Juergensen
WUERL: “I stand with the great majority of American bishops and bishops around the world in saying this canon [915] was never intended to be used this way [to deny communion]” (“Why I Won’t Deny Pelosi Communion,” Politics Daily, 2009). RATZINGER: “Apart from an individual’s judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he MUST refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. Can. 915). Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist. When these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible, and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion MUST refuse to distribute it” (Ratzinger, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” Sec. 4-6).

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:55 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
9:22 AM By Just sayin At the urging of a true priest, I actually went to the Jesuit Motherhouse in Rome to enter a complaint that Rev. Congr. Robert Drinan, S.J. violated Canon Law by physically attacking Robert K. Dornan. Did anything come of it? NO! By the Way, that is an excomunicable offense God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:57 PM By Maryanne Leonard
Kenneth, my goodness. That’s astounding. My husband knows Bob Dornan’s brother, and yet none of this story got back to me. Could you tell us more about the incident and what provoked a Jesuit priest to attack Robert Dornan? I guess I’ve heard it all now.

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:14 PM By MacDonald
@ KENNETH — Excommunicable offenses are few and far between, and many have been deleted in the new Code of Canon Law (for example, it is no longer an excommunicable offense to physically attack a priest). So, what did this Jesuit actually do that was truly excommunicable?

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:37 PM By JLS
Jesuit “motherhouse” or “mothership”? With today’s Jesuits, how can we tell the difference?

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 10:05 PM By John Feeney
Georgetown is a Fake Catholic University and Kathleen Sebelius is a Fake Catholic!

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:55 PM By JLS
I walked onto the Georgetown campus one cold evening in 1986 to take a brief night course. I stopped some underclassmen for directions. Their leader was about as arrogant as one can be … His groupies began to realize he was making a fool of himself, got him shut up, and then gave me the directions I had requested. These high end universities have their good points but they also have their dingbats.

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 10:42 AM By MIKE
MacDonald and all, you can find the cuurent Code of Canon Law on the Vatican web site. Canon 915 – “Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.” 1. The delicts against the faith referred to are heresy, apostasy and schism according to the norm of can. 751 [6] and 1364 [7] of the Code of Canon Law, and can. For those interested you can find the definition of heresy, apostacy and schism in the CCC.

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 10:46 AM By MIKE
MacDonald, do you think that there are fewer heretics, schismatics and apostates these days, or that many Bishops are merely not doing their required jobs to Save Souls – expecially when it comes to the Mortal Sins of Scandal, and Sacrilege, and also teaching the faith with the CCC?

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 12:48 PM By Ted
I went to a Jesuit high school from 1962 – 1966. They were Catholic then, what happened ?

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 1:07 PM By PETE
Cardinal Weurl does not openly and actively promote the reading of the CCC which clearly defines the mortal Sins of SCANDAL, and of HERESY and SCHISM. CCC: ” 2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.” AND CCC: “2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible. This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.”

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 3:13 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
5:57 PM By Maryanne Leonard, I am surprised that Deacon Don (I believe that is his name, again my memory) did not tell you of the incident. If my memory serves me correctly, it occured at a Parish in the Hellywood area known for its liberalism. Bob disagreed with Drinan, and Drinan struck him. I don’t think Bob struck back, which is unusual for Bob Dornan, but I think that was because of Bob’s respect for the Collar. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 3:18 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
8:14 PM By MacDonald, This incident occurred before the more liberal new Code was established. It was a priest with 3 Ph.Ds that sent me to Rome for that purpose. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 4:04 PM By JLS
Sebelius, at Georgetown, justified the “separation of church and state” on the late President Kennedy. However, presidents do not make law. Therefore Sebelius is either a deceiver or an idiot. Any Georgetown student or faculty who swallows her brew is also either a deceived or an idiot. Hey, money in the family does not create intelligence and often is the result of inbreeding and the consequences are becoming evident in these top allegedly Catholic colleges and universities.

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 7:53 PM By k
Fr Drinan karate chopped Robert Dornan’s neck in 1973 at St. Paul the Apostle in Westwood CA in response to Dornan’s questioning him on his support of Roe v. Wade. Article in Celebrate Life.

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 9:03 PM By angela
Cardinal Wuerl needed to GO to the Univ. and bring his entire staff and all parish priests with him to stand on the sidewalk and say the mass or pray the rosary. A few words from his “speech writer” in the communications dept. doesn’t cut it in my book. Just a note – if you saw the video – MOST OF THE STUDENTS THERE WERE CHEERING SEBELIUS!