Georgetown Alumni Petition to Strip Catholic Credentials from College

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A canon law petition asking Cardinal Donald Wuerl to rescue Georgetown University’s Catholic identity or declare that it can no longer refer to itself as Catholic was delivered to the Archdiocese of Washington today, a group of Georgetown alumni, students, parents, faculty and others has announced.

Distinguished Georgetown alumnus William Peter Blatty, an Academy Award winner and author of The Exorcist, announced in May 2012 the formation of the Father King Society and its plans to file a complaint under the Catholic Church’s canon law. The completed petition documents abuses of Catholic identity at Georgetown University and non-compliance with Church law for Catholic universities. The group is seeking remedies “including, if made necessary, the removal or suspension of top-ranked Georgetown’s right to call itself Catholic and Jesuit in its fundraising and representations to applicants,” according to leaders.

The document is signed by more than 1200 individuals. It includes 198 pages, 476 footnotes, 91 appendices and 124 witness statements documenting 23 years of “scandals and dissidence,” the King Society reported.

Submitted with the petition is a 120-page dossier prepared by The Cardinal Newman Society at Blatty’s request, summarizing Georgetown scandals documented by the Society over several years. The Newman Society and canon law experts were consulted for advice by the King Society throughout the year-long process of preparing the brief.

Neither the canon law petition nor the Cardinal Newman Society dossier will be made public at this point in time.

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