Founded in 1789 by John Carroll, a Jesuit priest, Georgetown University has, historically speaking, religious roots. So, too, do Harvard, Princeton and Brown. Over time, though, as has happened with these Ivy League institutions, Georgetown has undergone a secularization, due in no small part to the fact that much of its leadership and faculty find their inspiration in sources other than the Gospel and Catholic teaching. Many are quite clear that they reflect the values of the secular culture of our age. Thus the selection of Secretary Sebelius for special recognition, while disappointing, is not surprising.
With all of the people struggling so hard to preserve freedom of religion, and with all that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has said in defense of this important value, Georgetowns choice of the architect of the radical challenge of such freedom for special recognition can only be seen as a statement of where the university stands certainly not with the Catholic bishop
American Catholic picked the quotes, adding this:
The editorial is not mincing words. It is plainly stating that Georgetown is, for all intents and purposes, no longer a Catholic university. As Msgr. Pope notes, these words come from the Archdioceses official newspaper, and therefore had to be signed off on by the Cardinals senior staff.
The invite is indeed a stunning declaration by the Jesuits, a throwing down of the gauntlet.