Georgetown University, a college “in the Jesuit tradition,” has announced that it is kicking a group of Evangelical Protestant student groups off campus. Now before you think that Georgetown has had an revival of Counter-Reformation fervor, you might want to stop a minute to look at the details.
The groups – which include Georgetown chapters of InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and Crossroad Campus Christian Fellowship – were told their ministries “will no longer be allowed to hold any activity or presence (i.e. bible [sic] studies, retreats with Georgetown students, Mid-week [sic] worship services, fellowship events, move-in assistance ...) on campus. As well, there will be no Affiliated Ministry presence or participation at our annual Campus Ministry Open House held at the end of August.
This decision came down from the Protestant chaplain on campus in a meeting of campus ministries. If you look at the ministries that were booted, they are all conservative Christian groups. In other words, it looks like an ideological purification.
“They sat us down and gave us a letter that was already signed,” said Tim Ratp, an adult leader of the Crossroad Campus Christian Fellowship. “Their rationale was, [they] have no idea what we’re doing, and therefore [they don’t] want us on the campus.”
According to Rapt, university officials refused to attend some of the affiliates’ meeting to learn more about their activities.
“We had a difficult time trying to get to know them and understand them,” he said. “We thought they were just busy, but we found out from other groups that they were just like that.”
Ironically, these Evangelical groups are known for pushing their members to proselytize, and I could see a Catholic university having a problem with outside Protestant groups trying to subvert the Catholic faith of students. But does anyone really believe that this is what this move is about?
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