/ Religion News Service, May 18, 2012

Tensions between the Archdiocese of Washington and Georgetown University are escalating ahead of an address on Friday (May 18) by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Sebelius, a Catholic whose support for abortion rights and President Obama's contraception insurance mandate has infuriated bishops and conservative Catholics, was chosen last fall by students at Georgetown's Public Policy Institute to deliver a speech at the school's annual awards ceremony on commencement weekend. The Cardinal Newman Society, a conservative watchdog group, called the Sebelius invitation "outrageous," and on Wednesday (May 16) sent an online petition with 26,000 signatures to Georgetown President John DeGioia, warning him that he had "two more days to stop this scandal and insult."

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