Dignité received the disappointing news today that the Vatican has dismissed Fr.
Roy Bourgeois from the priesthood due to his public advocacy for women priests
in the Roman Catholic Church.
ABOUT MY DISMISSAL FROM MARYKNOLL
I have been a Catholic priest in the Maryknoll community for 40 years. As
a young man I joined Maryknoll because of its work for justice and
equality in the world. To be expelled from Maryknoll and the priesthood
for believing that women are also called to be priests is very difficult
The Vatican and Maryknoll can dismiss me, but they cannot dismiss the
issue of gender equality in the Catholic Church. The demand for gender
equality is rooted in justice and dignity and will not go away.
As Catholics, we profess that God created men and women of equal worth and
dignity. As priests, we profess that the call for the priesthood comes
from God, only God. Who are we, as men, to stay that our call from God is
authentic, but God's call to women is not? The exclusion of women from the
priesthood is a grave injustice against women, our Church and our loving
God who calls both men and women to be priests.
When there is an injustice, silence is the voice of complicity. My
conscience compelled me to break my silence and address the sin of sexism
in my Church. My only regret is that it took me so long to confront the
issue of male power and domination in the Catholic Church.
I have explained my position on the ordination of women, and how I came to
it, in my booklet, My Journey from Silence to Solidarity. Please go to www.roybourgeoisjourney.org.
Vatican has dismissed Roy Bourgeois from order
National Catholic Reporter
Nov. 19, 2012
Roy Bourgeois, a longtime peace activist and priest who had come under
scrutiny for his support of women's ordination, has been dismissed from
the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, which he served for 45 years,
according to the congregation.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made the
dismissal in October, according to a news release issued Monday
afternoon by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
Monday's statement from Maryknoll seemingly puts a cap on years of
discussion about Bourgeois' role in the order following his
participation in the ordination of Roman Catholic Womanpriest Janice
Sevre-Duszynska in August 2008.
Bourgeois was notified by the Vatican congregation that he had incurred
sententiae, or automatic, excommunication for his participation.
for 45 years in Maryknoll, with 39 years as a priest.
Dignity Canada Dignité stands in solidarity with Fr. Bourgeois in the belief
that both women and men are called to all ministries in the Church. We know
through the birth, life, execution and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth that
God loves all persons, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation or the
many other ways in which our species is diverse. Jesus simply did not
discriminate, although the Jewish purity code at that time mandated many
I invite you to read Fr. Bourgeois' statement at right. He joins John J.
McNeill, PhD, Matthew Fox, PhD, Hans Kung, PhD and many other Catholic
theologians and other members who have been cast aside by the hierarchy for
their prophetic voices. However, the vast majority of members of the Church,
the persons in the pews such as you and me - as well as many of our fellow
Catholics who have given up on the institution as it presently is behaving -
would simply have no difficulty in accepting and celebrating women in all
roles in our religious institution.
We pray for Fr. Bourgeois in his formal rejection by the Vatican and we pray
that the institution may develop a heart open to the diversity of the human
race, as shown by the life of Jesus, and rid itself of any sexism,
heterosexism and clericalism.
The full statement from the Maryknoll Fathers
and Brothers follows:
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. The decision dispenses the Maryknoll
priest from his sacred bonds.
As a priest during 2008, Mr. Bourgeois participated in the invalid
ordination of a woman and a simulated Mass in Lexington, Kentucky. With
patience, the Holy See and the Maryknoll Society have encouraged his
reconciliation with the Catholic Church.
Instead, Mr. Bourgeois chose to campaign against the teachings of the
Catholic Church in secular and non-Catholic venues. This was done without
the permission of the local U.S. Catholic Bishops and while ignoring the
sensitivities of the faithful across the country. Disobedience and preaching
against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women’s ordination led to
his excommunication, dismissal and laicization.
Mr. Bourgeois freely chose his views and actions, and all the members of the
Maryknoll Society are saddened at the failure of reconciliation. With this
parting, the Maryknoll Society warmly thanks Roy Bourgeois for his service
to mission and all members wish him well in his personal life. In the spirit
of equity and charity, Maryknoll will assist Mr. Bourgeois with this
Dignity Canada Dignité is
Canada's organization of Roman Catholics who are concerned about our
church's sexual theology, particularly as it pertains to gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgendered persons. We work in collaboration with
other Catholic organizations seeking reform in our church's leadership