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Georgetown Chooses Kathleen Sebelius for Commencement

In a move that many are calling a direct challenge to the U.S. Bishops, Georgetown University has chosen the author of the HHS mandate as commencement speaker for its Public Policy Institute.

The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) is reporting that the Jesuit-run University has released a statement announcing its various commencement speakers, a list which includes the pro-abortion Catholic Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to address the graduating class at its Public Policy Institute on May 18.

As a result of the invitation, Sebelius, who CNS calls the "lead architect" in the Obama Administration's assault on religious liberty, will be a given a powerful platform with which to plead her case in favor of a mandate that will force religious employers to pay for insurance coverage for services that violate the consciences of faithful Americans. It is the same mandate the bishops say includes “an unwarranted government definition of religion” that is “alien both to our Catholic tradition and to federal law,” and “a violation of personal civil rights.”

In addition to her stance on the healthcare mandate, Secretary Sebelius also has a scandalous record of support for abortion. While serving as Governor of Kansas, Sebelius supported abortion rights and vetoed pro-life legislation. As a result of these positions, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City reportedly told her in 2008 to stop receiving the Eucharist until she publicly recants her position on abortion and makes a “worthy sacramental confession.”

The decision comes at nearly the same time that Pope Benedict XVI addressed U.S. bishops during an ad limina visit urging them to preserve the Catholic identity of their universities.

A Catholic university's identity "entails much more than the teaching of religion or the mere presence of a chaplaincy on campus," he said. "In every aspect of their education, students need to be encouraged to articulate a vision of the harmony of faith and reason capable of guiding a life-long pursuit of knowledge and virtue." 

Meanwhile, outrage over Georgetown's decision continues to grow.

"This is an outrage and a direct challenge to the Bishops. Cardinal Wuerl, Cardinal Dolan, and the whole USCCB needs to immediately revoke Georgetown's status as a Catholic University," writes Patrick Archbold of The Creative Minority blog. 

"In this crucial debate, you are either with us or against us. Georgetown has taken the other side. If there was any question left about whether Georgetown was still Catholic, that question has now been answered."

CNS has launched a petition drive to Georgetown President John DeGioia, asking him to immediately withdraw the invitation. Click here to sign the petition.

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