We may have lost The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty earlier this month, but apparently his influence is still being felt even after his death. Especially at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., the late author’s alma mater.
That’s because Blatty petitioned the Roman Catholic Church to officially declare Georgetown is no longer a Catholic university, according to CNS News. Blatty, who died Jan. 12 at 89, claims that despite being the country’s oldest chartered Catholic university by the Vatican – and one of only two – the school has long abandoned the Catholic principles of which it was founded.
Blatty had pointed to a decree signed by Pope John Paul II in 1990 known as “ex corde ecclesiae,” which says “all activities of the university must be consistent with its Catholic identity,” according to Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, a group founded after the pope signed the document designed to promote Catholic education in schools.
Georgetown not only has moved away from its Catholic roots, it’s been both hostile and rebellious against the church, Reilly said. Students majoring in theology could actually focus on not only non-Catholic religions, but non-Christian religions, CNS reporter Barbara Hollingsworth said.