Ex Cord Ecclesia was issued in 1990. It's now toward the end of 2010. In twenty years, this documents main significance has been to point up that entrenched interests, the power of contributors, and the lackluster leadership of the American bishops can thwart the will of the Pope, and the healing of a running sore on the Mystical Body of Christ.
This document clearly states what it takes to be a Catholic Educational Institution, and directs bishops to be sure it is implemented. The intention was to put an end to the confusion of the Faithful, the distortion of Catholicism, and the outright teaching of heresy in Catholic Schools and Universities.
There have been a couple of small schools told that they are no longer Catholic Institutions, but by and large the enforcement of this document, and of the norms for Catholic Institutions has been marked by extreme neglect, to the point of negligence, or even collusion.
The signal that has been sent is that if you are a big enough institution, the Bishops are afraid of you.
Of course, the most visible instance has been that of Notre Dame giving an honorary degree to Barack Obama. It is a clearly stated norm that Catholic Schools will not grant honors to those who promote or further the cause of abortion, and Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion president we have ever had. This caused no little consternation, and Bishops all over the country denounced the action. Yet Notre Dame remains a "Catholic Institution in Good Standing".
Now Georgetown, our countries oldest "Catholic" university is considering "gender blind" housing, in an attempt to be more accommodating and lead to a "...more accepting atmosphere for LGBTQ students."
It's passed time for the Big Catholic Schools to get passes on this sort of thing.
Now one can argue that Notre Dame didn't get a pass on the Obama affair--the impact on it's fundraising was severe enough to result in a large budget shortfall, and the same may occur with Georgetown if they in fact do this. But that's not enough. Not nearly enough.
The fact that they are even open to considering this move is proof that they have abandoned anything but the merest minimum of words in support of Catholic Teaching. Actions speak so much louder than words that they may as well scream.
So twenty years on, it's time for the Archbishop of Washington to do his duty, and declare Georgetown a Non-Catholic Institution. That would do a lot. One, it would clear out a canker of heresy and moral relativism that masquerades as part of the church. Two, it would show that even the largest and most prestigious Universities are not above the Magisterium, or exempt from Magisterial Teaching. And three, it would show that the US Bishops are serious about Catholic Identity and Teaching, and that their loyalty to the Pope is more than mere words.