Founded in 1789, Georgetown is the oldest Jesuit and Catholic university in the United States.
William Peter Blatty, the novelist who wrote "The Exorcist," says he believes Georgetown University isn't Catholic enough. He's asking a higher authority to intercede.
Blatty, who is himself a Georgetown graduate, argued in a petition to the Vatican that there aren't enough Jesuit professors or Catholic students at the institution and noted a series of scandals including allowing abortion advocates to speak on campus. The penalty, writes Blatty — along with the 2,000 other conservative Catholics who signed the petition — is that Georgetown should no longer call itself Catholic or Jesuit.
The Vatican office that oversees Catholic Education called the complaint "well founded" and said its taking the issue seriously even discussing it with the Jesuits.
Georgetown denies the accusations that it isn't Catholic enough, and says it hasn't been contacted by the Vatican.
Blatty's arguments are based on a 1990 document from Pope John Paul II, discussing how Catholic universities should be governed, including the makeup of its faculty, courses, etc. Those who disagree with Blatty say the document isn't ecclesiastical law, but merely guidelines for Catholic institutions that are open to interpretation.