“The Vatican and Maryknoll can dismiss me, but they cannot dismiss the issue of gender equality in the Catholic Church.” – Fr. Roy Bourgeois
While many have said it should be no surprise that Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church, I was and am utterly astounded, not to mention deeply saddened.
I have been well aware (and an admirer) of Fr. Roy’s work for sometime; but came to know him personally about one year ago. While I believed my expectations were unrealistic, Fr. Roy not only lived up to, but surpassed the superhero image I had created in my mind. He is an incredibly humble and generous man whose utmost concern is honoring the dignity of every human being. On a personal level Fr. Roy is a friend and mentor; on a social and communal level, I respect his activism, courage, and refusal to comply with demands that violate human rights. In the face of continual threats Fr. Roy stood strong and now pays the ultimate price for following his conscience. Excommunication means that he has lost his position and his home; his livelihood, status, and vocation have been taken away. Fr. Roy is forced into laity and the job market at an age where he should be focused on retiring. Continue reading “I Stand with Fr. Roy Bourgeois by Gina Messina-Dysert”
It is very disappointing to share that Fr. Roy Bourgeois was excommunicated, dismissed, and laicized by the Vatican as a result of his support for women’s ordination and the eradication of sexism in the Catholic Church. The following was sent out for immediate release by Maryknoll on November 19, 2012. Additional information will be shared once released.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith
Canonically Dismisses Roy Bourgeois
Maryknoll, New York – November 19, 2012 – The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on October 4, 2012, canonically dismissed Roy Bourgeois from the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, also known as the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS: Fr. Roy Bourgeois Excommunicated”
This letter was written to to Rev. Edward Dougherty, M.M., Superior General and the Maryknoll Community on August 8, 2011 in response to the call for Fr. Roy Bourgeois to recant his stance on women’s ordination in the Catholic Church.
I have been a Catholic priest for 39 years and Maryknoll has been my faith community, my family. So it was with great sadness that I received your letter of July 27, 2011 (Second Canonical Warning), stating I must recant my belief and public statements that support the ordination of women, or I will be dismissed from Maryknoll.
In my ministry over the years I have met many devout women in our Church who believe God is calling them to be priests. Why wouldn’t they be called? God created men and women of equal dignity and, as we all know, the call to be a priest comes from God.
My brothers, who are we to reject God’s call of women to the priesthood? The Holy Scriptures remind us in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither male nor female. In Christ Jesus you are one.” How is it possible for us to say that our call from God, as men, is authentic, but God’s call of women is not? Continue reading “A Response to the Maryknoll Community on Women’s Ordination by Fr. Roy Bourgeois”
Fr. Roy Bourgeois has many titles: Nobel Peace Prize winner, purple heart recipient, former missionary, member of the Maryknoll Fathers for 44 years, and ordained priest for 38 years. He has long been associated with social justice and helping the oppressed and marginalized. He was a peace activist during the Vietnam War and founded the School of Americas Watch. He is found often marching and protesting in front of the School of Americas (now WHINSEC ), a terror training camp at Ft. Benning where soldiers are trained in devices of torture. This is where soldiers that were members of the death squads that existed in Latin America, especially in El Salvadorwere trained. This is also where the soldiers who killed the Jesuits, their maid, and her child as well as Monsignor Romero were trained.
Fr. Roy is and continues to be an important activist for peace and justice and a champion for the poor. At the risk of being defrocked, Fr. Roy is also an advocate on behalf of another oppressed group – women in the Catholic Church. Fr. Roy, through his actions, is now among the group of the oppressed and stands in punishment of a crime considered “delicta gravioria” by the Vatican. The brevity of his crime defined as “delicta gravioria” is shared with other offenders such as John Geoghan, John Birmingham, Paul Desilets, Robert V. Gale, and others found guilty of pedophilia in the Sex Abuse Scandal that rocked the United States. However Fr. Roy’s crime is not pedophilia; it is the public support of ordaining women. Continue reading “Is it Right to Intentionally Lie Because the Church Says to? The Case of Fr. Roy’s Assertion of Conscience Over Vatican’s Mandate to Lie By Michele Stopera Freyhauf”
In a recent Facebook thread, I read with interest the 2010 National Catholic Reporter article (“Women Won’t Let Us Go”) about the four American churchwomen, Maryknoll Srs. Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, Ursuline nun Dorothy Kazel and laywomen Jean Donovan on the 30th anniversary of their murders while working in El Salvador.
What instantly drew me in was the raw language of their ordeal, in which each of the four where raped, tortured and then shot to death. The word “rape” jumped off the page as if a foreign term, and I wondered why I felt this way. Not until I exhausted my search on the women did I understand my heightened surprise: in nearly all of the Google searches, the word, “abused” and not “raped” appeared in the telling of their story. Again, why the softening of the act through the use of the term abused? While I applaud NCR contributor Cheryl Wittenauer’s use of the word rape, I’m confused why so many others seemed unable or unwilling to call it what it is: rape.
When the six Jesuits from El Salvador were executed, the following formula was used to describe what occurred: “Date + six Jesuits, + “along with a housekeeper and her daughter killed by members of the El Salvadoran military.” In his recounting of the death of his Jesuit community, Jon Sobrino is one of the few who names the usually unnamed women: Julia Elba Ramos, 42, cook and housekeeper and Cecilia Ramos, 15, her daughter. Sobrino1 gives further details of the killings by informing the reader of the thirty men dressed in military uniform each carrying machine guns. The first three Jesuits were taken outside and executed. The remaining three Jesuits plus the women were then killed in their beds. Let’s step back from this gruesome scene to imagine what could be missing details of the deaths of Julia and her daughter Cecilia. While I have attempted to uncover the reality of that night, I have not been able to verify my suspicions, that before the women were executed, the military men first raped them, as was their custom. If I am correct, why the silence about their rape all these years later? Does their rape somehow lessen their lives and deaths? Are they considered martyrs as well? Continue reading “The Cross of Reality: The Linguistic Hiddenness of Naming Rape By Cynthia Garrity-Bond”