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4/17/2009 (6 years ago)

Cardinal Newman Society (

This is not the first controversy surrounding religious imagery at Georgetown recently.



Cardinal Newman Society (

4/17/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in College & University

MANASSAS, Va. (Cardinal Newman Society) - Before President Barack Obama spoke on Tuesday, April 14, at Georgetown University, the White House asked that all signs and symbols be covered up at the Gaston Hall venue, reports. In compliance with the request, the university covered over the monogram "IHS," an ancient Christian symbol of the name of Jesus Christ.

"It is such a sad commentary that Catholic universities are willingly hiding the most visible signs of their Catholic identity when hosting secular leaders," said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. "What's next, will Notre Dame cover images of Jesus and Mary and ban rosaries when they honor President Obama next month?"

The story notes that Julie Green Bataille, associate vice president for communications at Georgetown, said, "In coordinating the logistical arrangements for yesterday's event, Georgetown honored the White House staff's request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind Gaston Hall stage."

"The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they've done for other policy speeches," continued Bataille. "Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn't high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context."

This is not the first controversy surrounding religious imagery at Georgetown recently. A prominent statue of Our Lady of Fatima was desecrated twice in less than a month at the university earlier this year. When the first desecration of the statue occurred, a group of concerned students organized a 24-hour prayer vigil in response, but students complained to The Cardinal Newman Society that the Georgetown administration's response was tepid.


The Cardinal Newman Society is dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at America's 224 Catholic colleges and universities.This article is used with permission.


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