Since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has found a reliable home at what might seem an unlikely place – a Catholic college. But in the case of Georgetown University, it’s not so unusual.
Just last month, Obama made his third appearance at Georgetown University since taking office, despite being arguably the most pro-abortion rights president in our country’s history, infringing in an unprecedented way on religious liberty, and forcing religious institutions to provide insurance covering abortifacients, contraception and sterilization procedures.
Although President George W. Bush seemed to shy away from Georgetown—he attended a couple of the University’s “Let Freedom Ring” celebrations in honor of civil rights leaders—The Cardinal Newman Society has previously reported that Georgetown alumnus and “pro-choice” President Bill Clinton was an honored guest on campus at least 18 times during his presidency.
President Obama’s most recent visit to the Jesuit campus was just last month, when he announced plans to fight climate change. The president, who is forcing Catholic colleges to provide insurance that will cover abortifacients, continually invoked future generations as a reason to support his climate change plan.
“Someday our children and our children’s children will look at us in the eye, and they’ll ask us, did we do all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem and leave them a cleaner, safer, more stable world,” Obama reportedly said. “I want to be able to say, ‘Yes, we did.’”
Fittingly, just three weeks after President Obama’s appearance, Georgetown announced that it would comply with the Administration’s HHS contraceptive mandate even as other Catholic colleges and universities battle the legislation in court. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has protested the HHS mandate vociferously.
While Georgetown has ignored the requests of the bishops on numerous occasions, it seemed strangely amenable to a request from the White House in 2009 to cover the monogram “IHS,” an ancient Christian symbol of the name of Jesus Christ, while President Obama spoke on campus.
In short, Georgetown complies with HHS, while covering up the “IHS.” It’s Caesar before God.
Despite all this, Rachel Pugh, director of communications at Georgetown recently said, "Our Catholic and Jesuit identity on campus has never been stronger." She said this in response to questions concerning a canon law petition submitted to Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, regarding Georgetown's compliance with Ex corde Ecclesiae.
The petition seeks remedies up to and including rescinding Georgetown’s right to call itself a Catholic university.
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.