Editor’s note: This article has been updated to provide comment from Georgetown University Right to Life.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — More than 100 Georgetown University students, faculty members, and others expressed indignation after a student-run group on campus decided to host the leaders of The Satanic Temple for a panel discussion.
In an open letter dated October 14, hundreds of concerned individuals and groups shared their “discontent” about the decision by Georgetown’s Lecture Fund (a student-run organization) to host the co-founders of the openly anti-Christian activist group The Satanic Temple for an “Atheism and Activism” dialogue in the Healey Family Student Center in an effort to “enlighten and educate” the student body.
“On Thursday, October 12th, Georgetown’s Lecture Fund announced that they will host a conversation with Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry, the founders of The Satanic Temple,” the students, faculty, alumni, clubs, organizations, and supporters said.
“The Satanic Temple is an organization that engages in hateful speech, religious mockery, and the desecration of sacred rites,” they wrote. “We assert that there is no place at Georgetown to host apologists for evil. We ask that all respond firmly but in a spirit of love.”
The planned event was scheduled to take place on Monday at 5 p.m.
As LifeSiteNews has previously reported, The Satanic Temple has frequently made headlines for explicitly attempting to undercut Christianity, especially Catholicism, in the public square by engaging in controversial and blasphemous activities and by openly promoting transgender ideology and abortion as a “religious ritual.”
The signatories of the open letter noted that the Georgetown Catholic Ministry has called out The Satanic Temple for its “history of publicly desecrating the Eucharist and demeaning the sacred rituals at the heart of our faith.”
They pointed out that on October 12th, the Lecture Fund issued a statement explaining that “the opinions of the Lecture Fund’s speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Lecture Fund,” and that the student group both organizes and co-sponsors discussions “that represent a wide variety of viewpoints to fulfill our mission to ‘enlighten and educate’ the campus community.”
But the signers of the open letter, which included Georgetown University’s Knights of Columbus, Georgetown Right to Life, four faculty and staff members, 104 students, 20 family members, and 44 alumni (including outspoken pro-life Catholic nun Sr. Deirdre Bryne), rejected the Fund’s explanation, arguing that “Satanism does not enlighten or educate any community, let alone a Jesuit one.”
“The Satanic Temple and its founders do not uphold the ideal of mutual respect for those of different faiths and seek to undermine serious conversations about the meaning of faith to individuals in the Georgetown community,” the letter read, presenting a list of recent statements by the organization itself expressing hatred and disrespect for Christ and Christians.
According to the open letter, hosting Greaves and Jarry on-campus “undermines Georgetown’s mission as a university to lead people to the truth.”
“Through their desecration of holy sacraments, The Satanic Temple delegitimizes any claim their supporters and sympathizers make to advance religious dialogue,” they said.
The signatories of the letter therefore condemned the use of “University space and resources for the Satanic Temple,” something they argued puts “our school at odds with its Jesuit identity.”
They invited people of faith and other like-minded people without a faith background to support their opposition to the event.
In addition, they encouraged all university members to support the university’s Catholic ministry, which hosted a prayer service at the same day and time as The Satanic Temple discussion.
In an emailed statement to LifeSiteNews on Tuesday, Georgetown Right to Life – a secular pro-life group – issued a condemnation of “The Satanic Temple’s history of hatred that goes beyond mere criticism of religion” as well as “the Georgetown Lecture Fund’s decision to host founders of a hate group.”
The group also said it “finds it incredibly troubling that The Satanic Temple has claimed a so-called ‘religious right to abortion’ by calling it a ‘religious ritual’. No one should have the right to intentionally kill another innocent human being.”
LifeSiteNews reached out to Georgetown University vice president Joseph Ferarra and the Georgetown University Lecture Fund for comment. This article will be updated when responses are provided.