Patsourakos: Georgetown University Disgraces Itself by Its Invitation to HHS Secretary Sebelius

You wonder why Georgetown even bothers calling itself Catholic anymore.

George Pastourakos | Theology and Society

This week, it was revealed that Georgetown University — America’s oldest Catholic institution of higher learning — selected Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), to be a speaker at one of its graduation ceremonies on May 18.

Sebelius is of the Roman Catholic faith, but is pro-abortion and the principal spokesperson for supporting the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

Consequently, a plethora of Catholics have been shocked that Georgetown chose Sebelius to be a graduation speaker. In fact, the Cardinal Newman Society has posted a petition — which thousands of people have already signed — at, in an effort to protest this outrage.

We agree with the Cardinal Newman Society that Sebelius should not be a speaker at Georgetown. Although Sebelius claims to be a Catholic, one would never know it from her anti-Catholic actions and beliefs.

In 2008, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City told Sebelius — who was governor of Kansas at that time — to stop receiving the Eucharist until she publicly recants her position on abortion and makes a “worthy sacramental confession.” Today — four years later — Sebelius has still not followed Archbishop Naumann’s directive.

Hopefully, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl will carry out the Cardinal Newman Society request that he send a letter to Georgetown President John DeGioia, urging him to immediately withdraw Sebelius’ invitation to speak at the university.

The fact is that — by inviting Sebelius to be a speaker — Georgetown is conveying its arrogance, disrespect, and indifference toward Catholicism and toward America’s Catholic bishops, all of whom have condemned the Health and Human Services contraception mandate.

While we believe that a university must be free to accept all viewpoints as it works to achieve its goal of enhancing learning and knowledge, we also believe that a Catholic university has an irrevocable responsibility to support Catholic doctrine and the teachings of Christ.

Indeed, by inviting Sebelius to be a speaker this month, Georgetown University has disgraced itself by promoting anti-Catholic and anti-Christian beliefs. Needless to say, it will now take Georgetown many years to regain the respect it once had as a first-rate Jesuit institution of higher learning.


  1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Could anyone provide Kevin Allen’s e-mail address to me before his presentation on May 20th on Same Sex Attraction. I am a clinical psychologist that specializes on this issue and I wanted to talk to him about calling in for his presentation?

    Thank you
    Andrew Gill, ThPsyD

  2. Unfortunately in the United States there are in essence American Catholics and Roman (Pope Benedict or Vatican) Catholics. The latter in my experience in three cities are quite devout, conservative, compassionate, and pro-life from conception to natural death. I became Catholic at Georgetown Medical School and am quite sorrowful but not surprised at their choice; the administration has often seemed more attuned politically than spiritually, although many individual priests, especially my stellar medical school chaplain Fr Joseph Sweeney of blessed memory, were most spiritual people. I am thankful recently to have found the Orthodoxy of the Fathers. One hopes Ms. Sebelius has respected the request that she not receive the Eucharist but it would be no surprise to learn she has not, given her delusion and apparent denial about the reality of abortion.

    • Michael Bauman

      Ms. Troon, Kathleen Sebelius is one of the most adent supporters of abortion on the political sceen. She is not in simple denial, she is pro-abortion. Her public statements on abortion while she was running for govenor of Kansas (my state) would make your toenails curl. She has no feeling for or respect for life in the womb which means she has no feeling for life anywhere else. She is a simple political opportunist who wants as much power as she can get.

      Her political organization in Kansas received quite a lot of money from Dr. George Tiller and the other abortion supporters around the state and she did everything in her political power to keep them in business.

      • Dear Mr. Bauman:

        I am absolutely with you on your description of her activities. My priests use the terminology of delusion about an individual’s sins, so I tend to adopt that, helps me remember all my own I think. I certainly pray she will see things differently and soon.

        In Christ,

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