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Maryknoll: Vatican has dismissed Roy Bourgeois from order




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Maryknoll: Vatican has dismissed Roy Bourgeois from order

Roy Bourgeois (NCR photo/Joshua J. McElwee)

Joshua J. McElwee  |  Nov. 19, 2012

 

http://ncronline.org/printmail/news/people/maryknoll-vatican-has-dismissed-roy-bourgeois-order

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.

Dominican Fr. Tom Doyle, a canon lawyer acting on Bourgeois’ behalf, told NCR he was not aware of the move.

Doyle said he and Bourgeois met with Maryknoll’s superior general, Fr. Edward Dougherty, in June, and the issue of dismissal had not been discussed.

“The idea then was that things would continue and they would not dismiss Roy and they would continue to dialogue,” Doyle said. “And then this just happened, unilaterally. [Bourgeois] had no idea.”

Bourgeois was not available for comment Monday afternoon.

Mike Virgintino, the manager of communications for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, declined to answer any questions about the matter.

“I cannot answer any additional questions,” Virgintino said. “We have to stay with that statement. I can’t answer anything more.”

The statement reads: “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.”

Monday’s statement from Maryknoll 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.

Shortly after, Bourgeois was notified by the Vatican congregation that he had incurred a latae sententiae, or automatic, excommunication for his participation.

Over a period of years, the congregation had not responded to requests for clarification on the matter.

Monday’s statement from Maryknoll states that Bourgeois’ “disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women’s ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and laicization.”

“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,” the statement concludes. “In the spirit of equity and charity, Maryknoll will assist Mr. Bourgeois with this transition.”

Maryknoll asked Bourgeois to publicly recant his support of women’s ordination, telling the priest in a March 2011 letter he faced laicization and removal from the order if he did not comply.

In a series of letters and interviews since then, Bourgeois has said he could not comply with the request.

“In essence, you are telling me to lie and I say I do not believe God calls both men and women to the priesthood,” Bourgeois wrote in a formal reply to Maryknoll’s request. “This I cannot do, therefore I will not recant.”

Maryknoll’s leadership took a vote on removing Bourgeois from the order in the spring. While the order would confirm at the time that a vote had taken place, it would not comment on its outcome.

Doyle told NCR at the time that Maryknoll Fr. Mike Duggan, the U.S. regional superior of the order, informed Bourgeois of the vote, which was a split decision.

Doyle said Duggan told him two council members voted in favor of dismissal and three members abstained.

After the spring vote, Doyle and Bourgeois met with Dougherty on June 6.

In interviews following that meeting, Bourgeois said the discussion made no mention of his removal, but instead focused on the rights of conscience of Catholics and “the importance of people of faith and members of Maryknoll to be able to speak openly and freely without fear … of being dismissed or excommunicated.”

Bourgeois is known for his work with SOA Watch, a group he founded in 1990 to protest the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, a U.S. Army training school at Fort Benning, Ga., formerly known as the School of the Americas.

Bourgeois served for 45 years in Maryknoll, with 39 years as a priest.

[Joshua J. McElwee is an NCR staff writer. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org.]

The full statement from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers follows:

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. 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 transition.

 

 

 




    13 Responses to “Maryknoll: Vatican has dismissed Roy Bourgeois from order”

  1. vinnie Says:

    Let one priest, with the best interests of the church at heart, speak out against the Vatican tyranny and he is out of the priesthood faster than a pedophile priest gets transferred while priests who are rapists, sodomizers and molesters of children are protected, defended hidden and even lauded for their work. Is there no end to the lunacy?

  2. Thomas Says:

    So…one day, you can be a member of a family, and another day, you can be out on the street thanks to haters in Rome. Since we nolonger accept all of the utterances of hierarchy…this is no different. We reject the words of hate and abuse from men who show themselves to be nonCatholic. The Church is on the inside of each of us…cannot be touched, but can be shared. Father Bourgeois gave 45 years of service to the Church, and his religious order. Men of power who don’t even know him believe that they have ultimate control of the Catholic priesthood, and can use priests as puppets…that is, until the priest is enlightened and see bias in the arrogance of leadership. Father Roy is still a priest, and the lunacy in the Vatican is soon to stop—it’s over—there will be no more silence in the house of God. From the top down, there are criminals in the Vatican…and, from the bottom up, some men will help the daughters of God/Church climb the highest altars with venom crushed beneath their feet.

  3. ERW Says:

    Thomas, I hope your predictions are coming to frutation soon.

  4. Thomas Says:

    On the feast day of Saint Francis they released him from his order…like Francis, he will help to “Rebuild My Church”.

  5. Augusta Wynn Says:

    I hopefully imagine Father Roy with many wonderful holy folks around to console him and make him laugh. It is good for a priest to be among his people.

    How tragic, though, for the men left behind, having to watch one of their own inquistionized (and with so much stupidity that hyperbole is impossible ) and having to take it sitting down. Holy obedience, they call it.

    AW

  6. Thomas Says:

    The Vatican can bark all they want, but we will close our ears to them. They will indeed reap what they sow. What can be harvested during a spiritual drought? SILENCE…

    Obedience is a Cardinal sin!

  7. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    MAY ALL GOOD PEOPLE HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS!

    DON’T OVER EAT AND STAY OFF THE BUTTER AND GRAVY!

    HOORAY!

  8. Thomas Says:

    Father in heaven,
    On this day of Thanksgiving, we give you the ultimate thanks for all of the graces and good things which You have bestowed upon our forefathers and foremothers. We know that you are active among us, although we, ourselves and Church are seen as broken…we still hold the hope for relief in our hearts. We do not pray with words stuffed in our throats by others. Rather, we pray in our own voice knowing that we are equal to each of our brothers and sisters. The only thing in repetition which You desire is goodness, of which good always multiplies itself.

    We ask no grandious favors of You, but we do desire Your presence close-by as we seek justice in all things in Your name and for Your glory. For those who do not know You, reveal to them the love which you also revealed the first day of which You blew Your breath into Adam. Another day, might You rest again and claim the world and Your creation as good.

    Deliver into the hands of justice the criminal and the unjust. Those who abuse and gloat cast them down. Hear Your desert voices, and strike corruption from the Church of Your Son so that we may be united and work towards the plan of salvation and nothing more. Your fishermen have failed us and have become addicts of the worst sort…therefore send Your Spirit swiftly to right their every wrong.

    Bless Your Church in St. Louis, those Churches without borders, and those Churches catacombed. May they rise to meet Your glory when You desire it so.

    In gratitude, we thank You this Thanksgiving Day. Hold close to Your heart the lowly…and forget us not.

    Thomas

  9. ERW Says:

    Amen!

  10. ERW Says:

    Thomas, your prayer is poetry to God, and surely more pleasing to the Lord than the forced, distorted language the bishop pervert the celebration of the last supper with.

  11. Thomas Says:

    The clerical management of the Catholic Cemetery system in St. Louis might tell the laity what to place on graves as decorations for Christmas and other times…but no one can tell you when or how to talk with God—no one! Thanks ERW…

  12. Augusta Wynn Says:

    Thomas, I only just now read your beautiful prayer, which is the most beautiful Thanksgiving/Advent prayer I think I have ever read.

    Thank you.

    AW

  13. Thomas Says:

    Thank you AW. The longer one lives, they will understand that God does not like broken records. The other thing that He does not like broken…is the backbone of the Church—the women of the Church and those who support them.


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