Noted Author, William Peter Blatty, Announces Canonical Lawsuit Against Georgetown U.

Catholic Culture A prominent Georgetown University alumnus has announced plans for a canonical lawsuit in a bid to restore the school’s Catholic identity.

William Peter Blatty, the author of The Exorcist, is asking Georgetown alumni, faculty, students, and friends to join in his canonical case, in which he will ask the Archdiocese of Washington and the Holy See to take action “up to including the possible removal or suspension of top-ranked Georgetown’s right to call itself Catholic or Jesuit in its fundraising and representations to applicants.”

In his plea for support of the canonical case, Blatty argues that Georgetown has failed to comply with the standards set forth in Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the conduct of Catholic universities. He lists a series of offenses, leading up to this week’s decision by Georgetown to honor Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. “Georgetown is being dishonest” by presenting itself as a Catholic institution, the author argues. “Together, we need to end that!”

Blatty—who won an Oscar for the screenplay of the film based on his best-selling novel—is a member of Georgetown’s class of 1950, and a recipient of the university’s John Carroll Medal for alumni achievement. In presenting his argument for action against Georgetown, he emphasized his own debt to the school and his desire to bring Georgetown back into line with its Catholic heritage.

Blatty has enlisted the Cardinal Newman Society and the St. Joseph Foundation to assist with his canonical case.