A History of TGA (4 of 8)

Exclusive to TGA, we are republishing in eight parts a portion of the petition memorandum sent to Rome by Georgetown alumnus William Peter Blatty.  This is the first time any portion of the petition has been published anywhere, and it chronicles 23 years of students’ calls for Catholic identity, as reflected in the pages of The Georgetown Academy since 1990.  

We encourage you to read our introduction to the series and learn more about the petition by visiting the website of The Father King Society.




The fall of 1999 was important for Catholic higher education in America. TGA welcomed freshmen to Georgetown with a still-poignant Editorial (“What The Brochure Didn’t Tell You”) that painted a complete picture of the Georgetown culture and the failure of its Catholic identity. The Editorial is worth a full reading.  It began:  

“A university is a unique composition, and every year it is revised as it welcomes the newest quarter of its transient component—the first year class.  We join the university in one of its most hallowed seasonal traditions. Welcome! And beware! You have arrived in a little township of remarkable, almost psychotic inconsistencies. They did not tell you of these things in the prospectus.  
“Georgetown is a place in crisis. It is an institution at a crossroads, divided as to how to proceed.  Some, of course, might say that it is not divided at all.  No doubt at the highest echelons of administration there is no doubt.  Such people seldom have doubt.  At the highest echelons, Georgetown is led by Jesuits living in the past.  This tired old generation continues to stay a course undertaken over three decades ago, reflecting a Catholic perspective that has long ago ceased to exist.  They reflect an inferiority complex no longer shared by Catholic Americans in a post-JFK world.  They conspire against a pre-Vatican II church few Catholic Americans in universities today remember or know.  At Georgetown beware, not all men with Roman collars are alike.  Georgetown’s Jesuits and other Catholic leaders represent the full panoply of ideology and apostasy, and of selflessness and faith. It is no wonder that in a religious order of decimated American vocations, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus had none this past year.
“This dysfunctional Jesuit culture has its consequences reflected first of all in the student culture one encounters upon arrival.  This is a place with a Feminist Women’s Center that has aggrandized itself based upon the national feminist hysteria of sexual assault (using false statistics) but which last year glorified carnality in a vile production which featured approvingly the lesbian rape of a minor.” 

The Editorial goes on to address Georgetown’s Catholic facade: 

“This is a Catholic school that is glad to wear the fact on its sleeve at the moment of fundraising and communicating to parents and alumni, but which apologizes for it at the time of recruiting faculty and students.  This is a Catholic school which avoids a lot of criticism and self-evaluation under the theory that “Father knows best” but is quick to encourage criticism and disrespect of the Catholic Church that is the source of this clerical authority.  This is a Catholic school in which Catholic faculty, students and staff are made afraid to speak their mind in the face of an increasingly intolerant anti-Catholic bias among their peers.
“At this Christian school, our campus ministers follow the lead of the gay activist agenda, and young women might well be advised on sexual matters by an in vitro fertilized lesbian activist, intolerant of Catholic teaching on sexual morality.  At this Christian school, until last year, freshmen were forced to attend sexual education indoctrination that assumed their amorality and promiscuity as a given, and cynically provided condoms in a bowl for anyone to take so that it could be denied that they were distributed.  At this Christian school, a faithful Catholic student applying to be an R.A. stands a better chance at having his application inexplicably lost than any other student.
“First year students will come eventually also to wonder what it is they are saying when they speak of a Catholic education or an education in the Jesuit tradition.  Beginning with an ever-diminishing Jesuit presence, today only 25% of our faculty is Catholic, and although we will bend over backwards to hire a gay, Hispanic, with a limp to teach Queer Literature, heaven forbid anyone should suggest the active recruitment of Catholic scholars.  But this logic follows naturally from a university that now teaches that gender is a social construct, but homosexual preference is biological, and conveniently and uniquely in human behavior, not subject to the grace of free will and choice. 
“In a year which records the 400th year of the core curriculum that gave Jesuit education its fame and glory, Georgetown ponders the final dismantling of its remaining vestiges.  This too shows the sickliness of our Jesuit leaders who bow ever more low to the careerist appetites of the lesser faculty.  A few years ago Georgetown made ignominious headlines when it followed the trend and replaced an emphasis on Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer with elective courses in “goofy studies,” arguing that students would prefer these over courses on dead white males.  With the experiment complete, students continue to oversubscribe courses in the traditional authors, rejecting in large numbers the goofy courses.  No matter. What appears to matter is the career interests of faculty not the best interests of students.
“Four hundred years after Ignatius’ Ratio Studiorum, and two hundred years after John Carroll sought approval from Rome for using the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum at Georgetown, we are now taking our lead from schools like Brown.  We are left to wonder what makes our education Catholic, Jesuit, or for that matter in any way unique. Having destroyed a Catholic ethos outside the classroom, we now face the complete destruction of those things (beyond growing up) that has made Georgetown special for so many before us. Each day we come closer to becoming a third rate Harvard on the Potomac—- nay a third rate Brown.” [38]



[38]  Editorial, “What the Brochure Didn’t Tell You,” The Georgetown Academy, September 1999, at 2, attached at Appendix 14.



We invite you to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.