Bishop Morlino Decries Georgetown Invitation To Sebelius

Bishop Robert Morlino:  “Catholic Educators Must Act In Accord With What The Church Teaches!”

From:  EWTN News

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wis. sharply criticized Georgetown University’s decision to invite Kathleen Sebelius to speak at a ceremony during commencement weekend.

The bishop said those involved in Catholic education should be “witnesses and not just teachers,” and warned that Georgetown’s actions are “teaching the people by what we do the opposite of what we say.”

He told Raymond Arroyo on EWTN’s “The World Over” in a May 10 broadcast that if he were president of the school, he “would never have moved in a direction like that.”

Georgetown University – the nation’s first Catholic and Jesuit college – ignited controversy on May 4, when it announced that Sebelius, who works as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, had been chosen to address Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute at an award ceremony on May 18.

Sebelius, who is Catholic, has drawn criticism for issuing a federal mandate that will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates religious beliefs.

Catholic bishops from every diocese in the U.S. have condemned the mandate, warning that it threatens religious freedom and could force Catholic hospitals, schools and charitable agencies to shut down.

Sebelius has also long supported abortion, both in her current role and as governor of Kansas, where she vetoed pro-life legislation and opposed abortion restrictions.

A Georgetown spokesperson responded to the criticism by saying that while Sebelius is speaking at an awards ceremony during commencement weekend, she is not a commencement speaker.

The university does not have “one main commencement speaker,” the spokesperson said, because each of its undergraduate and professional schools holds a separate graduation ceremony.

Critics argue, however, that the university is still honoring Sebelius with the invitation and granting her an inappropriate platform to voice views that are hostile to the Catholic Church.

In a 2004 document entitled “Catholics in Political Life,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

A petition protesting the university’s decision to invite Sebelius has gained more than 24,000 signatures in one week.

Bishop Morlino said that Catholic educators “have to get involved and act in accord with what we teach.”

“I’m afraid too many of them have strayed from that direction,” he cautioned.

He pointed to Pope Benedict’s recent address to a group of U.S. bishops gathered at the Vatican, explaining that the education of young Catholics in the faith is “the most urgent internal challenge” facing the Catholic Church in America.

“I embrace that wholeheartedly,” Bishop Morlino said.

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12 comments to Bishop Morlino Decries Georgetown Invitation To Sebelius

  • David L. Nelson

    Dear Editor

    Bishop Morlino has done his flock a great favor. He has made them angry. A substantial number at least. And having become angry, some of them may begin too think. And having begun too think, a few of them, might go so far as to question their beliefs. Having begun too question, a small number of them might delve into the history of the Catholic church. An even smaller number might stumble upon the thing that the church fears the most. The Truth.

    The truth is that the Catholic religion, and all of the other ten thousand or so religions that have sprung from the human imagination, are based on myth, folklore, and downright lies.

    The Bishop is threatening you with interdiction or even excommunication. How would that affect you life? He can’t burn you at the stake, though he might like too.

    Accept interdiction. Accept excommunication. Accept intellectual freedom.

    David L. Nelson

    I submitted this to the local paper’s opinions section. It was rejected and the editor branded me a mean spirited Catholic basher.


    Hello David,

    Your first paragraph is perfect! With one small correction, replace fears with the word wants.

    God bless you,
    John Quinn

    PS May we all come to find the Truth.

  • TG

    Patricia, my feelings too. I get so frustrated over faithful priests being punished and liberal ones can do whatever they want. I guess it’ll end when Jesus comes back.

  • Cecilia Cullinan

    I’m so deeply disappointed in Georgetown inviting Sebelius to speak. I’m trying to understand how this university considers itself Catholic. Catholic universities have allowed themselves to be infiltrated with “Philistines” who want to defy Catholic teachings.
    Cardinal Dolan has his work cut out and I as a Catholic expect him to do something about these universities claiming to be Catholic but are not.

  • WHY doesn’t our Church excommunicate
    Sebelius, Joe Biden and Nancy P.??????!!!
    There must be a limit to the scandal these
    people can give…………I am ALL for them to
    change, recant, and be forgiven; but we look
    like two-faced, tongue-in-cheek traitors to the
    Gospel by allowing them to persist in claiming
    to be Roman Catholic…….

  • Where is the Bishop of Georgetown’s Diocese and why isn’t he reining the school in? Are not the Jesuits subject to his authority? Whose authority are they subject to? The Pope’s? I’m just curious why so many supposedly Catholic institutions are allowed to act in such non-Catholic ways.

    Thank you for all that you do. Anne

  • 1. The thing is the only bishop who can do anything is the Bishop of Washington. He can direct the Jesuits to get another President to G.U., he can forbid those priests on campus to offer Mass or hear Confessions.
    He can even tell Georgetown to get out of his Diocese. There may be more, that I am not aware of.

    You have no idea the ache I feel for good priests that have had their faculties unjustly taken from them. How must they feel, while these bad guys get away with this outrage.

    2. As to Kathleen Sebellious, she has not only been supportive of abortion in one of he positions in her home state she actually destroyed evidence against an abortionist violating. state law. Not sure I remember the details but if I remember correctly it proved he was doing abortions on under age girls and turning them right back to their abuser.

    Aside from that she is an excommunicate. Her bishop quietly forbade her to Receive Communion. When she did not obey, he went public and told her publicly she had automatically excommunicated herself and that she was not to Receive Communion and had advised the Bishop of Washington as well.

    She may have some things to settle with the Church.

    We must pray for her to come back. In the mean time the rest of have to be protected. Protect our Religious Liberty and from the scandal she causes speaking at this ceremony. Having hr there gives the impression that all this is a matter of opinion and not something that to be a Catholic we must believe.


    Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus

  • JK

    As an observer from outside the US, I consider the US Bishops are lacking a spiritual backbone, by wanting the University to reject Sebelius, but not acting themselves to excommunicate her for the example she is giving to millions of Americans, who must consider her position acceptable if the Catholic church does not condemn her. When is the Catholic Church going to have the courage to fight Satan everywhere he appears in public office.


  • lisag

    Bishops should correct wrong teachings especially when they are public and misleading millions of people. Our shepherds should not allow wolves in the flocks and they should go after any lost lamb.

  • TG

    I agree with the Bishop. Someone needs to remove the title “Catholic” for Georgetown University. Louanne, I agree with your comment.

  • Bill

    Catholic bishops fight for authority over U.S. flock.

    Good article, too long to paste :

  • Clara

    If I’m not mistaken, USCCB has absolutely no teaching AUTHORITY and they shoudn’t attempt ban anyone from speaking anywhere.

  • Louanne Glennon

    Thank you, Bishop! If only Cardinal Wuerl would have the courage to demand that Georgetown either rescind the invitation or personally go over and remove the Blessed Sacrament, all the Catholic identy – including the ill-formed Jesuits there, and allow it to continue on it’s private university way….WHY IS WUERL SILENT?? His silence is a deafening condoning of Georgetown’s rebellion against the Church….perhaps he needs to send back the red hat.

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