Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
On today's Register Radio, the entire show is devoted to the controversy of Georgetown University inviting Health and Human Services' Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to speak at an awards commencement ceremony for the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. National Catholic Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond and columnist Patrick Archbold joined us for a roundtable discussion on the topic.
Desmond provided an overview of the controversial invitation given Sebelius' longtime support of abortion and her spearheading the HHS contraception mandate.
Initially, a university blog post announced that Sebelius would be speaking at commencement. After protests, the university said she was not speaking at commencement, but would be speaking at an awards ceremony.
Archbold said that the university is trying to change the name of the event to avoid criticism.
Quoting Robert George and Georgetown professor Patrick Deneen, Desmond said that providing such a forum constitutes an endorsement.
It was noted that Cardinal Wuerl had not yet spoken out on the controversy. Desmond recalled how the leadership of Bishop John D'Arcy, of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, against the University of Notre Dame commencement scandal led most bishops in the country to publicly speak out.
"At Notre Dame, Bishop D'Arcy was the most immediate bishop who spoke out. That paved the way for almost the entire episcopacy to speak out," said Desmond. "As a result, Catholic hiring has improved and Catholic identity at Notre Dame has been strengthened."
Desmond said that nine Georgetown professors have submitted a letter to the university president asking that the invitation be rescinded. The lead professor of the effort, Patrick Deneen, is leaving Georgetown to take a job at the University of Notre Dame.
"The voices of sanity are leaving Georgetown," said Archbold. "Even if the Cardinal speaks out, is it too late for Georgetown?"
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