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Terry Mattingly’s latest column relates to the Georgetown and evangelical groups question – with some new info.

Ministry leaders from off-campus have, in recent years, been required to sign a covenant written by mainline Protestants in the official Georgetown campus-ministry office. In one clause, they pledged to "maintain respect for the various religious traditions" on campus, while avoiding actions that could be interpreted as "denigrating or ridiculing" others. Ministers were asked to help students of all faith traditions, yet the covenant specifically prohibited "proselytizing" among those who might be "vulnerable in their faith or personal lives." Another clause stressed: "I affirm the legitimacy of Roman Catholicism as a path to salvation."

There are some tensions between religious groups at Georgetown, especially in an era in which Muslim students and donors have played a big role in the growth of new programs and facilities. However, the strongest tensions on campus are caused by moral and cultural issues, not over-zealous Protestant evangelists, said Manuel Miranda, a conservative Catholic activist and Georgetown alum.

"There are far more Protestants who convert to Catholicism while at Georgetown than the other say around," he stressed. In his opinion, the key to the ban on independent Protestant ministries is "the fact that all of these groups take very orthodox positions on the crucial social issues, like gay rights and abortion. If anything, they’re more Catholic on these issues than lots of Catholics there."

The bottom line, said French, is that a private school can do what it wants to do as long as it keeps any written promises it has made to students. The Georgetown campus-ministry Web site says, "Welcome," "Shalom" and "Assalamu-Alaikum (Peace be upon you)." The university says it welcomes students of "every religious profession."

"The issue is whether Georgetown is doing a bait-and- switch routine," he said. "The school says it has a come one, come all approach to religion. But when evangelical students get there, they may discover that they don’t have the same rights when it comes to free speech, freedom of association

I’d like to know more on that bolded passage…would you?

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