The Catholic Thing
Hoyas Whip the Irish Print E-mail
By Scott Walter   
Thursday, 07 July 2011

As a son of Georgetown University, I laughed at the pathetic Irish of Notre Dame when they made news for putting on their board Roxanne Martino, who gave a measly $27,000 to EMILY’s List, a group that works to elect pro-abortion politicians. That’s a trifle by Georgetown’s standards.

All sarcasm aside, the Notre Dame story recalls a scene from a few years back, during my White House days. At a meeting on other subjects, the retired head of a prominent “ecclesial community” mentioned a new international group he was forming. He wanted to have a prestigious Catholic onboard, but one must, you know, be careful. So the gentleman was pleased he had persuaded Jack DeGioia, president of Georgetown, to join: “There won’t be any trouble from him.”


I winced and thought back to my own years on the Hilltop, when I briefly crossed paths with then-grad student DeGioia. He was serving, believe it or not, as teaching assistant to Hadley Arkes, the professor whose powerful moral teachings – based on reason, not revelation – led my younger, atheist self to oppose abortion.

Which only makes things sadder today, because one rather doubts that DeGioia will ever be able to plead invincible ignorance regarding the Church’s moral teachings – teachings which receive scant respect from DeGioia’s supposedly “Catholic and Jesuit” university.

My favorite example on this score is Melissa Bradley, class of ’89, now serving on the  Board of Governors of the Alumni Association. While Ms. Martino of Notre Dame merely contributed to EMILY’s List, Ms. Bradley actually serves on the board of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which last year alone poured over $2 million into the election of candidates fighting for same-sex marriage and, of course, abortion. (The Victory Fund explicitly requires every candidate it endorses to “demonstrate support of federal, state or local efforts to safeguard privacy and reproductive rights.”)

And that’s just one of Ms. Bradley’s achievements in her spare time. At her day job, she is CEO of the Tides Foundation, a public charity that donates millions to support what Pope John Paul II called the “culture of death.” Among their 2010 grants alone, one finds NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation ($39,385), Center for Reproductive Rights ($12,500), California Latinas for Reproductive Justice ($440,000), Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice ($322,500), etc. etc.

         Georgetown: Still a city set upon a hill

Planned Parenthood’s empire especially benefits from Tides’ dollars. Again counting only 2010 contributions, $50,000 went to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the empire’s electoral and advocacy arm, with an additional $441,500 going to local, national, and international Planned Parenthood groups.

Because Tides is largely used as a pass-through for other funders, it is true that outside donors, not Ms. Bradley, originally chose many of those pro-abortion grant recipients. Yet Tides remains proud of its pro-abortion work. Its most recent available annual report is from 2008 (when Ms. Bradley served on Tides’ board but was not its CEO). There Tides brags that it “granted $5.1 million to LGBT issues including more than $1.1 million to support educational efforts in support of marriage equality in California.” It also “granted $9.6 million to women’s rights and reproductive justice including successful efforts to stop anti-choice ballot measures in Colorado, Oregon, and California.”

In short, one doubts Ms. Bradley would try the hoary obfuscation of “personally opposed but” on the question of abortion.

These millions of dollars she wields in the trenches of America’s battles over innocent children and traditional marriage don’t bother Georgetown. The school not only has her on the Alumni Association board, and on the LGBTQ Initiative Working Group; they recently celebrated her at a big John Carroll Weekend in San Francisco; the alumni magazine featured a fawning interview in its “Career Spotlight” series to celebrate her elevation to CEO of Tides; and the school gave her its Reed Alumni Award, noting that she lives “with her partner/wife, Allessandra,” also a Hoya, and their six children.

Not that Ms. Bradley is unusual. At the same John Carroll Weekend another alumna was featured, Winnie Stachelberg, whom the school magazine describes as living “with her partner, Vicki Phillips, and their two boys. After years working for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s leading LGBT civil rights organization, she now works for the Center for American Progress as senior vice president for external affairs.” (Don’t miss the Center’s More than a Choice report for the latest in how to fight for abortion rights while also working for “equitable” access to in vitro fertilization; “more contraceptive options for men”; the right to marry regardless of “sex, sexuality, or gender identity”; and much more.)

Of course, Georgetown’s law school outdoes the rest of the university in its work for the culture of death, what with professors who win landmark Supreme Court victories for Planned Parenthood and a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program that pays fellows to work at Planned Parenthood’s Public Policy Law and Litigation Department.

Many more examples could be added, but let’s close with another Georgetown story. Recently a young lady called me from Georgetown, probably an undergrad tasked with money-begging as part of her work/study financial aid package. I told her I won’t give the school money until it’s Catholic again. She snorted, “I know what you mean” and hung up.

Scott Walter, a Special Assistant to the President in the last administration, blogs at


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Comments (15)Add Comment
written by Manfred, July 07, 2011
Thank you, Mr. Walter for enumerating the many positions that both the alumni and the departments of Georgetown have taken wich are counter to Catholic teaching. Do you recall the incident where a huge whale had come up on a beach and all the townspeople had worked for days to push the whale back into deeper water? They finally realized it had died and the cost to remove it would be prohibitive. So they hired a demolition crew which dynamited the whale to bits! Videos of this were shown. The whale was the Catholic Church in America and the sooner bright Catholics come to realize the Church here is dead, the better off they will be. The priesthood, hierarchy and academia are rife with degenerates. Thank you for citing a few.
written by Martinkus, July 07, 2011
Saint Ignatius Loyola, great Catholic that he was, is turning in his grave. To think that he wanted the outstanding feature of the Jesuits to be obedience--obedience of each Jesuit to his superior and obedience of the superior general to the pope, as he wrote to the Jesuits in Portugal in 1544 and as he instructed in the Spiritual Exercises ("Thinking with the Church")! May God bless those Jesuits who have remained faithful to the true intent of their founder, such as Avery Cardinal Dulles, Georgetown and The Catholic Thing's own Father James Schall, and Fordham and the Cardinal Newman Society's Father Joseph Koterski, among others.
written by Ars Artium, July 07, 2011
How can it be possible that in modern day United States of America a child can, by design, deliberately, be deprived of association with or even knowledge of his or her mother or father? And how can it be possible that a child can thereby be deprived of his or her ancestral heritage simply because two or more adults have decided to appropriate the child's life for their purposes?

Is any right more fundamental than the right to know one's mother and father? Is any duty more fundamental than that of assuming responsibility for one's children?

Karl Jasper's wrote, after the Second World War, that each German person had to examine his conscience regarding the Jewish people. What had they done in opposition to this horror?

As the most fundamental right a person can have, that of being born to one's mother and father, is stolen from children at the very beginning of their lives, we also must ask ourselves this question. What have we done in opposition to this horror?
written by Louise, July 07, 2011
" CEO of the Tides Foundation"
"works for the Center for American Progress"
And just last evening I read an essay about the exemplary work of PETA in Calfiornina, regarding its attempt to save the animal kingdom in California while destroying whole segments of it, along with the human animal.

And who is this busy little beaver who funds Tides, the Center for American Progress, and PETA, among a jillion others? All together now: . . . . ..

My goodness, what is this? A Glenn Beck conspiracy workshop?.

Pure evil standing on two legs, hiding in plain sight.

written by NK, July 07, 2011
I have 2 children attending Jesuit colleges. Joyfully neither is at GU. Mr. Walter fails to point out the most egregious of GU's financial 'values' -- it has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the House of Saud.
written by Ray Hunkins, July 07, 2011
Mr. Walter, it takes courage to write a critical piece about the University you attended.Courage is in short supply these days. You are to be commended for putting your courage on display. We should remember, "it is darkest before the dawn". Dawn is coming. It is almost upon us. We have work to do but it is not in vain. Be of good cheer. Thank you Mr. Walter, for writing a needed expose`, even if of shame.
written by Yezhov, July 07, 2011
The fish started rotting at the head. Why should we be amazed at the decadence of Georgetown when the Society of Jesus is moribund due to infidelity to its Founder who now is just a historical,quaint curiosity? Those Jesuits who dismanlted the Society from the inside have achieved exactly what they wanted. May God reward them.
written by Chris in Maryland, July 07, 2011
It is often very difficult to contend with the damage done to lay Catholics who have studied at Jesuit schools. They are so loyal to the "Jesuit brand," and so confident of the quality of the education they received, that it is extremely difficult to persuade them to review the Jesuit project with a discerning eye. It's as if they're "flying on instruments," and they think they are flying level on course, but they don't know that the guages are out of calibration.
written by Dennis Larkin, July 07, 2011
What the bishops permit we get more of.
written by irishsmile, July 08, 2011
As the Catholic mom of five one of whom is a priest and all five have college degrees, please allow me to comment. American Catholics are dying the death of a thousand cuts. We have some very Catholic, courageous bishops like Olmstead, Cordelione and Vasa. The courageous bishops are in the minority. We also have some very, very problematic bishops who I will leave unnamed. Our biggest problem are those bishops who don't want to make a wave... the bishops in the nauseating middle... the do nothings... the bishops who enjoy the smiling photo ops with the pro-abort & pro-gay 'Catholic' politicians. I've given up on hoping that the American bishops will act with courage. Only if & when the Vatican makes an example or two of the worst of the American Bishops will (perhaps) the USCCB membership begin to crack down on dissenting teachers writers and politicians.
written by Chris in Maryland, July 08, 2011
Amen to Irishsmile! The general analogy in life is apt - it's like 10 guys moving in a cart up the street: 2 are pushing, 2 are trying to knock it over, and the rest are along for the ride. The laity in America and worldwide who are keeping faith with Pope Benedict should consider history as a judge of how many of their bishops might come to their aid in a time of crisis. In 16th C. England at the crisis of Henry VIII’s Oath of Supremacy, there were about 20 dioceses. So there were at least 20 Catholic Bishops, perhaps 30 or more if there were auxiliary bishops in England back then. When it came to down to choosing Henry (your life) or the Pope (your death), how many Catholic bishops chose the Pope? Only one out of 20 (or 30): Bishop John Fisher of Rochester, and he paid with his life. Sobering… Think about the recent "joint letter" from the Bishops in New York state announcing their "disappointment" about the outcome of the homosexual "marriage" law. The problem is not merely Bishop Hubbard and Bishop Clark, "co-signers" of the letter, who are openly "Cuomo-Catholic." The real problem is, no matter whether we're counting Catholics at the Bishops' Conference, or our own family barbecue, how many of us are really pushing the faith, and how many are just along for the ride? We know the answer...
written by G.K. Thursday, July 10, 2011
Alas, although your scathing report on the excrementitious reality of Georgetown is absolutely true, leading many of us who remember the University in its better days to despair, it's not good to simply leave your readers there. A sure sign of hope in Catholic higher education is the recent appointment of Rev. Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, S.T.D. to head the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. By the map less than 70 miles lies between these two Universities, yet how far apart they are in their Roman Catholic identity! Yet our hope for Catholic higher ed must be with Msgr. Swetland and the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education. You might also mention the yeoman work done by the Cardinal Newman Society since it was they who smelled out the rat at Notre Dame (who resigned from their board BTW). I hope your post will pressure Georgetown, in some small way. to step back from its de facto apostasy.
written by Tim, July 11, 2011
Georgetown confuses me. DeGoia is rumored to be a card-carrying Republican. There's not a notable lefty left in the Jesuit community. Schall, Fields, Murphy, et al. are notable in their orthodoxy and devotion. The younger Jesuits at Georgetown seem likewise pretty solid as a group. Organizations like the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic daughters thrive on campus. Given that legally and financially the Jesuits have no power in the institution (the highest ranking Jesuit administrator is an associate dean of students, I believe!!!), could it be that a few good sailors have been left with a ship of rotted wood? Have they decided to go down with the ship for the sake of the good they can do with what few worldly and abundant spiritual resources they have left? Could the order rescue or change the school if it wanted? By what criteria and by whose authority does the school still tout itself as "Jesuit" and "Catholic". Wuerl and DeGoia reputedly get along famously. Which of these persons should we continue to scorn? Is anyone there worth a lifeline?
written by Joe, July 12, 2011
This nails it right on the head: Notre Dame has these controversies over its Catholicity (and they deserve the criticism!) but these things have long since ceased generating controversy at many if not most Catholic colleges and universities.
written by @ G.K., July 14, 2011
I believe Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland has already begun his relationship with Georgetown, he spoke there this past January.

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