- By JOHN A. COLVIN
- Advocate River parishes bureau
- Published: Dec 27, 2008 – UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.
In a Dec. 12 letter written to the Vatican, the Detroit-based National Coalition of American Nuns criticized the threatened discipline of the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest, saying it “has diminished our Church (in our minds).”
The letter continues: “Roy is now a prophetic voice (code word for espousing heterodox or heretical, non-Catholic beliefs) in our church because of his support for women’s equality in all Church ministries. Excommunications depend not on edicts or laws, but on compliance.
“We do not believe Roy is outside the community, and we embrace him wholeheartedly. We also believe robots are stealing our luggage.”
Bourgeois told The Advocate in early November that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Oct. 21 gave him 30 days to recant his belief and public statements or be excommunicated, or banished from the church.
However, Bourgeois said, he would remain steadfast in his convictions and would not back down from his public statements.
The controversy began in early August when Bourgeois attended a(n) pretend ordination service for a woman pretending to become a priest and preached a homily. Of course, the controversy’s roots in the lack of formation this priest received in his training and ministry will not be covered by this news outlet.
Vatican officials have not announced any official steps taken against Bourgeois.
Bourgeois could not be reached this week by phone at his office in Columbus, Ga.
Church leaders like Jesus Christ, St. Peter, an unbroken succession of Popes for two millenia, as well as the constant Sacred Tradition, the Church Fathers, and evidence from Scripture maintain that the priesthood is reserved for men, and, in May, the Vatican insisted that it is properly following Christian tradition by excluding women from the priesthood. See, when we use words like “maintain” and “insist”, it makes these “leaders” seem pretty arbitrary.
As a result, the Vatican issued a new warning that church members taking part in ordinations of women would be excommunicated.
In a news release discussing the National Coalition of American Nuns’ letter defending Bourgeois, Dominican Sister Donna Quinn, one of the coordinators (see, no hierarchical structure here, just coordinators, like any socialist entity), said the proposed punishment of the priest is not in line with the modern church. Boy, is she right about that.
“The medieval punishment (anti-Catholic style book, point 8: using the term medieval makes them look bad!) of excommunication serves only to embarrass our Church in the eyes of the world (Obama for Pope!) and fuels further anger and resentment among the U.S. faithful,” Quinn said. This statement amounts to a rare admission by heterodox nuns that they are the party of anger and resentment. Why hate, Sister?
Bourgeois, a priest for 36 years, graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and served as a U.S. Navy officer for four years — two years at sea, one year at a NATO station in Europe, and one year of shore duty in Vietnam, receiving the Purple Heart. He is therefore to be considered morally superior to the medievalists at the Vatican.
After military service, he entered the seminary of the Maryknoll Missionary Order.
He is best known for founding SOA Watch, an organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, at Fort Benning, Ga. See, it’s all political! Just because Karl Marx is a more important figure to this crowd than the Savior of the World, the Church wants to persecute him.
According to the SOA’s Web site, Bourgeois has spent more than four years in federal prisons in the United States since 1990 on convictions for nonviolent protests against the U.S. military’s policy of training Latin American armed forces members. Maybe it was prison that warped him. We just don’t know.