Georgetown must affirm life, mission by overruling Richards invitation

Over three thousand times per day—about once every 25 seconds or so—another human being is put to death in the United States legally.

That human being’s crime: not to have been born yet.

The pandemic butchery of abortion on demand is the most visibly brutal reality of the contracepting, perverse, “self-affirming” and self-abusive culture that is the fruit of Modernism.

Of those 3,000 lives per day, about 1,000 are taken at facilities operated by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, accounting for roughly 85% of Planned Parenthood’s prenatal “services.” Some number of those lives—helpless babies’ lives—reap a profit either for PPFA or for one of its downstream customers in the form of baby parts dismembered and sold, as grimly chronicled by the Center for Medical Progress and unaccountably denied by the zealous defenders and promoters of PPFA, whose business of slaughter-for-pay continues unabated.

To the Catholic—indeed, to anyone of good will—this practice is an unconscionable crime, no matter what a legislature or court may rule on the matter. To the Lecture Fund at Georgetown University, this practice is evidently just another interesting line of commerce, and its most notorious practitioner’s CEO, Cecile Richards, a celebrity whose achievements merit her not opprobrium but a podium.

The official response of Georgetown University has been to downplay this scandalous invitation as an exercise in the “free exchange of ideas,” even as the University administration admits that Richards advocates “perspectives” that “run counter to the Catholic and Jesuit values that animate our university.”

This response is indefensible and unacceptable. Georgetown administration’s tepid commentary on the Richards invitation, far from affirming Catholic and Jesuit values, is an implicit endorsement of the culture of death promoted by Planned Parenthood and its defenders. University President John DeGioia has no defensible position or option other than to overrule the Lecture Fund and rescind the Fund’s invitation to Richards.

Five centuries ago, St. Ignatius of Loyola experienced a profound conversion that ultimately led his Society of Jesus to become, up through a few generations ago, the Church’s brightest torch in its unapologetic defense of the Faith and heroic proclamation of Catholic truth, even in the face of martyrdom. Today’s Church, beset by crisis and challenged more than ever before by the forces of Hell in the battle for souls, demands no less of Her faithful and of the Society.

We pray that Georgetown will halt this mockery of its Catholic and Jesuit identity and will seize the opportunity to repair the scandal occasioned by the Richards invitation. Through the intercession of St. Ignatius and his fellow saints and blesseds of the Company, may the Society of Jesus, accompanied by all who owe a debt of gratitude to Georgetown’s legacy of educational and moral excellence, see fit to undertake a deep and fruitful Ignatian examen that will restore the University—and indeed the entire Jesuit order—to their rightful place as heralds of the Church’s teaching and vanguard of the Social Reign of Christ the King.

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