Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hiding Gaston Inscription Goes Too Far

Georgetown blotted out the Holy Name of Jesus. I’m stunned.

I grant all the usual arguments for welcoming the president of the United States to a Catholic campus to give a talk. He’s the leader of the free world. We don’t support all of his politics, some of which are to be fiercely opposed. But he is our president, and he was not coming to speak about life issues.

Fair enough.

But even I, a priest who shares the same hometown as the president and who looks on him with some pride, was shocked at the length to which Georgetown slid, perhaps by small, unnoticeable steps, into such a self-abasement at the altar of secularism. It probably seemed like a small concession at the time – really just a matter of being hospitable – to respect the request of such an honored guest.

But the Holy Name of Jesus is a symbol: a powerful, important and even central symbol, of the greatest good that ever entered the world, not to mention the society that founded this institution.

Covering it up, blotting it out, is a symbol, too.

Fr. Arthur Olsen

April 16, 2009

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