Skip to comments.Excommunicated priest formally notified of laicization
Posted on 01/11/2013 2:02:08 PM PST by NYer
Roy Bourgeois, the former priest who was excommunicated in 2008 and dismissed from the Maryknoll society last year, has been formally notified of his laicization.
Bourgeois received a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, relayed through his former Maryknoll superiors, notifying him of his dismissal from the society and from the priesthood. The Vatican asks Bourgeois to sign the letter, acknowledging receiptwhich he says he will refuse to do.
Bourgeois was excommunicated in 2008 after he participated in a ceremony in which women claimed ordination. He had repeatedly refused to reconsider his stand, and had remained a public advocate of womens ordination.
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As a Catholic priest for 38 years I have come to believe that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is a grave injustice against women, against the church, and, most of all, against our loving God who calls both men and women to be priests.
If we are to have a vibrant and healthy church rooted in the teachings of Jesus, we need the wisdom, compassion, courage, and faith of women in the priesthood."
I detect in myself a touch of schadenfreude as I read of this new at the site of the Fishwrap, whose editors have pressed poor Roy to their collective bosom for so very long.
Bourgeois receives official Vatican letter dismissing him from priesthood
Roy Bourgeois, the longtime peace activist and Catholic priest dismissed by the Vatican because of his support for women’s ordination, [more than "support"] has received the official letter notifying him of the move three months after it was made.
The letter, which comes from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is signed by the congregation’s prefect on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI and states that the pope’s decision in the matter is “a supreme decision, not open to any appeal, without right to any recourse.”
Written in Latin, the letter dismisses Bourgeois from the priesthood and restricts him from all priestly ministries. It asks Bourgeois to return a signed copy “as a proof of reception and at the same time of acceptance of the same dismissal and dispensation.”
The letter, dated Oct. 4, was made available Wednesday by Bourgeois, who said he received it last week from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the U.S. missionary society he served as a priest for 40 years. Bourgeois said he did not plan to return a signed copy. [If he cannot be obedient in the greater, who expects that he would be obedient in the lesser.]
The congregation’s letter does not make reference to specific charges against Bourgeois or mention his support for women’s ordination, saying, “for the good of the Church, the dismissal from the said Society must be confirmed, and moreover, also the dismissal from the clerical state must be inflicted.”
“There’s no mention of what I did,” Bourgeois said. “There’s no mention … of women’s ordination. What crime did I commit that brought about this serious sentence? There’s no mention of that. What did I do? What am I being charged with?” [For pity's sake, Roy.]
Bourgeois said he found the request to sign the letter “somewhat laughable” at first because he could not fully understand its contents until he obtained an English translation of the Latin from a translation service. [From a translation service?]
His signature, Bourgeois said, would indicate he accepts the letter’s contents.
“I do not accept it,” he said. “I think it’s a grave injustice. I think it’s mean-spirited. I think it contradicts whatever Jesus had talked about and taught us.” [His fidelity and Christology are on par. And by his disobedience and dismissal he has taken another step toward being completely irrelevant.]
The letter also asks Maryknoll to “exhort [Bourgeois] assiduously so that, once [his] proud behavior has been purified, [The Latin says "contumacia", which indicates persistent, inflexible, defiance of proper authority. It is not "proud behavior". He was exhorted by everyone under the sun and he would not obey.] he will participate in the life of the People of God in conformity to his new condition, will give edification and in this way will show himself a worthy son of the church.” [That would be a fine thing. No? At that point I would shake his hand. Also, the fact that Maryknoll (indeed in the Latin "Auctoritas ecclesiastica, cui spectat Decretum praefato notificare, hunc enixe hortetur...") is asked to continue to work on him underscores the strong medicinal element of this move by the Holy See even though he has been dismissed from the obligations of the clerical state and from Maryknoll itself, even - so it seems - as a lay brother.]
Comparing women’s ordination to the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage, Bourgeois said “this movement of gender equality … is rooted in God, equality and justice. It’s not stoppable.” [ROFL!]
Neither is this decree from the Vicar of Christ, to whom Christ committed the power and authority to bind and loose.
Yes, I feel a little schadenfreude over this, but I feel more anger and grief. This confused man has brought all this onto himself. He has endangered his soul and caused scandal. He has endangered the souls of others, by his support. I sincerely hope that, over time, his dismissal from the clerical state will be medicinal.
In the meantime, to those wymyn out there who make the claim that “nothing prevents women from being ordained as deacons”, I say…
… just try it. See what happens next.
If a Yankees player insisted on showing up for games wearing a Red Sox uniform, I suspect he too, would be dismissed.
When he refers to Catholic priests, the correct pronoun is now "they", not "we".
Forgive my cognitive dissonance.
I thought the headlines was that a priest was LACTATING! I was puzzling how the Vatican issued such an order...
Wouldn't a woman priest be a "priestess"?
And yet Cardinal Law, who enabled Frs. Shanley and Geoghan to rape boys in parish after parish, is still a cardinal, right?
The most you can actually prove about his administration of the Archdiocese, was serious, repeated lapses in pastoral judgment.
Upon turning 80 a little more than a year ago, Law became ineligible to participate in any papal conclave or to hold any Curial memberships, and was replaced as archpriest of Sta Maria Maggiore.
As it stands, he broke no laws; and he showed repentance for his severe lapses in judgment. There was neve a question of heresy; and again --- unlike former "Fr." Roy Bourgeis --- Law was not defiant and "contumacious."
The fact that the Vatican removed Bernard Law from leadership of a powerful Archdiocese, and put him in charge of managing Sta Maria Maggiore with no pastoral authority, tells you what they thought of his pastoral competence.
Now he can go start his own church. Which is what he should have done all along.
Perhaps the next thing we’ll read is that former Fr. Bourgeois is in the process of transsexualizing, being as how he thinks there’s no difference between men and women.
'Course he wouldn't be, because he would still be a real (but hormonally confused and genitally mutilated) male. But he's so confused he might not get the distinction.
I wasn’t being quite that serious about it, but you could be right. *shudder*