Georgetown University Rally for Planned Parenthood Endangered Souls
Georgetown University officials must take full responsibility for the scandalous, immoral and anti-Catholic comments made by the president of Planned Parenthood to students yesterday — with the full approval and defense of the nation’s oldest Catholic university — and they should make immediate changes to their speaker policy to uphold truth and avoid endangering the souls of their students.
The administration’s disclaimers about not endorsing guest speaker views and appealing to free speech arguments cannot be taken seriously as excuses to what students were exposed to yesterday. There was no academic benefit for students, nor was this event an attempt to aid students in the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Cecile Richards’ lecture at Georgetown was nothing more than a pep rally for Planned Parenthood and the terrible, evil work that organization is openly committed to doing.
We do not use the word “evil” lightly or in passing. It is a truth of the Catholic faith that all sin is evil. Sin opposes the will of God. And those who engage in sin separate themselves from God. The Church calls all persons to reject sin and draw closer to Our Lord. Catholic universities have a responsibility to cooperate with the Church in her mission of evangelization. Georgetown officials seem content to abandon that responsibility.
Killing an innocent human life through abortion is a sin, and is evil. The use of contraception to prevent pregnancy is a sin, and is evil. Sterilizing one’s self to prevent the transmission of new human life is a sin, and is evil. These are truths taught by the Church. But students at Georgetown reportedly cheered for these evils as they were promoted by Richards yesterday, who delivered her propaganda with the consent of Georgetown officials.
There’s no doubt that “an environment of morality, ethics and human decency that one expects on a campus that asserts its Jesuit and Catholic history and identity” is “sadly lacking” at Georgetown, as theArchdiocese of Washington lamented in its statement on Richard’s invitation.
According to the full text of Richards’ speech, she began by announcing that the “unofficial” Georgetown student group H*yas for Choice distributed 10,000 condoms on campus last semester alone. Georgetown administrators have full knowledge that this group openly opposes Church teaching on the dignity of human life and chastity. Yet officials turn their heads and allow H*yas for Choice to freely operate on campus, sowing dissent against the Church among students.
Richards’ then spent over an hour attempting to inspire the hundreds of students in attendance to question and challenge authority and challenge laws in seeking to promote abortion and contraception as issues of “rights” and “justice.” It was clear from the description of Richards’ lecture that this event would be nothing more than a promotional rally for Planned Parenthood — an opportunity to stir up opposition to the Church’s moral teachings among students. But Georgetown officials still refused to disinvite Richards.
In promoting Planned Parenthood, Richards covered many of the talking points concerning the organization’s activism and “services” that have already been refuted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities in their fact sheet, “Planned Parenthood: Setting the Record Straight.” Georgetown officials had to know that Richards would mislead students about the harm Planned Parenthood causes to our society, but the University refused to intervene.
The staggering number of abortions committed by Planned Parenthood each year (over 300,000) should have also been well known to Georgetown officials. As The Cardinal Newman Society has repeatedly pointed out, Richards herself is responsible for the deaths of more than 2.8 million babies since taking charge of Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the barbaric practice of selling of body parts procured from aborted babies is also well-known due to the release of several undercover videos. Richards said she was “proud” of Planned Parenthood’s role in “supporting fetal tissue research” by harvesting the body parts of aborted babies.
All of this information was public knowledge, but the University still allowed this lecture to take place. To what end? There is no academic freedom that can justify the willful denial of basic truths and advocacy for gruesome crimes against humanity — which is exactly what students heard from Richards yesterday.
How many other lecturers — either as guests or as faculty —does Georgetown support on campus despite their openly anti-Catholic beliefs? How many lectures are given at Georgetown each year that seek to inspire students to accept immoral teachings with no regard whatsoever to the truth of the faith? The Newman Society’s coverage of scandalous activities at Georgetown for more than 20 years is evidence of a serious disconnect between the University’s mission and its activities.
The University’s disclaimers about not promoting or endorsing heterodoxy on campus are difficult to swallow in light of yesterday’s event that advocated the slaughter of innocent children. It’s time for Georgetown officials to stop putting the University in a position where such disclaimers need to be issued at all. When Catholic families send their children to Georgetown, they shouldn’t expect their sons and daughters to be tempted to sin by those responsible for upholding the Catholic identity of the institution. It’s time for Georgetown to restore its Catholic identity and fidelity. And we sincerely pray that it will, for the sake of its students’ souls, now and in the future.