Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fr. Roy Bourgeois Facing Excommunication

I'm Sorry for the long post, but below is a letter that Fr.
Roy has sent to the CDF. It is followed by names of
addresses where support to Fr. Roy can be sent.

A Faithful Catholic

Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903
November 7, 2008


I was very saddened by your letter dated October 21,
2008, giving me 30 days to recant my belief and public
statements that support the ordination of women in our
Church, or I will be excommunicated.

I have been a Catholic priest for 36 years and have a deep
love for my Church and ministry.

When I was a young man in the military, I felt God was
calling me to the priesthood. I entered Maryknoll and was
ordained in 1972.

Over the years I have met a number of women in our Church
who, like me, feel called by God to the priesthood. You,
our Church leaders at the Vatican, tell us that women
cannot be ordained.

With all due respect, I believe our Catholic Church's
teaching on this issue is wrong and does not stand up to
scrutiny. A 1976 report by the Pontifical Biblical
Commission supports the research of Scripture scholars,
canon lawyers and many faithful Catholics who have studied
and pondered the Scriptures and have concluded that there
is no justification in the Bible for excluding women from
the priesthood.

As people of faith, we profess that the invitation to the
ministry of priesthood comes from God. We profess that God
is the Source of life and created men and women of equal
stature and dignity. The current Catholic Church doctrine
on the ordination of women implies our loving and all-
powerful God, Creator of heaven and earth, somehow cannot
empower a woman to be a priest.

Women in our Church are telling us that God is calling
them to the priesthood. Who are we, as men, to say to
women, "Our call is valid, but yours is not." Who are we
to tamper with God's call?

Sexism, like racism, is a sin. And no matter how hard or
how long we may try to justify discrimination, in the end,
it is always immoral.

Hundreds of Catholic churches in the U.S. are closing
because of a shortage of priests. Yet there are hundreds
of committed and prophetic women telling us that God is
calling them to serve our Church as priests.

If we are to have a vibrant, healthy Church rooted in the
teachings of our Savior, we need the faith, wisdom,
experience, compassion and courage of women in the priesthood.

Conscience is very sacred. Conscience gives us a sense of
right and wrong and urges us to do the right thing.
Conscience is what compelled Franz Jagerstatter, a humble
Austrian farmer, husband and father of four young children,
to refuse to join Hitler's army, which led to his execution.
Conscience is what compelled Rosa Parks to say she could no
longer sit in the back of the bus.

Conscience is what compels women in our Church to say they
cannot be silent and deny their call from God to the

Conscience is what compelled my dear mother and father,
now 95, to always strive to do the right things as faithful
Catholics raising four children. And after much prayer,
reflection and discernment, it is my conscience that compels
me to do the right thing. I cannot recant my belief and
public statements that support the ordination of women in
our Church.

Working and struggling for peace and justice are an
integral part of our faith. For this reason, I speak out
against the war in Iraq. And for the last eighteen years,
I have been speaking out against the atrocities and
suffering caused by the School of the Americas (SOA).

Eight years ago, while in Rome for a conference on peace
and justice, I was invited to speak about the SOA on
Vatican Radio. During the interview, I stated that I could
not address the injustice of the SOA and remain silent
about injustice in my Church. I ended the interview by
saying, "There will never be justice in the Catholic Church
until women can be ordained." I remain committed to this
belief today.

Having an all male clergy implies that men are worthy to
be Catholic priests, but women are not.

According to USA TODAY (Feb. 28, 2008) in the United States
alone, nearly 5,000 Catholic priests have sexually abused
more than 12,000 children. Many bishops, aware of the abuse,
remained silent. These priests and bishops were not
excommunicated. Yet the women in our Church who are called
by God and are ordained to serve God's people, and the
priests and bishops who support them, are excommunicated.

Silence is the voice of complicity. Therefore, I call
on all Catholics, fellow priests, bishops, Pope Benedict XVI
and all Church leaders at the Vatican, to speak loudly on
this grave injustice of excluding women from the priesthood.

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was assassinated
because of his defense of the oppressed. He said, "Let
those who have a voice, speak out for the voiceless."

Our loving God has given us a voice. Let us speak clearly
and boldly and walk in solidarity as Jesus would, with the
women in our Church who are being called by God to the

In Peace and Justice,
Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903


ACTIONS TO SUPPORT - Rev. Roy Bourgeois - 11/08

Below are addresses to write support for Fr. Roy and to
ask that he not be excommunicated. Petitions are also

Please write or fax or email to Pope Benedict XVI, and/or
the Pope's Ambassador to the U.S., the Apostolic Nuncio,
and/or the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith, the group
that is moving toward excommunication of Fr. Roy Bourgeois,
and/or The leaders of the Maryknoll Order. Their
addresses are below.

Please send a cc of any message or petitions you send to:
Bill Quigley – Attorney for Fr. Roy
7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 902
New Orleans, LA 70118 or


Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W, Washington, DC, USA
Telephone: (202) 333-7121
Fax: 337-4036

Pope Benedict XVI
00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano, Europe
The Pope's email address (for English correspondence) is:
FAX from USA:

Congregation for Doctrine of Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11,
00193 Roma, Italy

Superior General, John Sivalon at jsivalon@maryknoll.org
and to the three-member Maryknoll Council at
mklcouncil@maryknoll.org and/or fax to 914-944-3600
Write to: Maryknoll Council P.O. Box 303
Maryknoll, NY 10545

Again, please send a cc of your message to
Bill Quigley – Attorney for Fr. Roy
7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 902
New Orleans, LA 70118


CatholicSoldier said...

It appears the Church is standing firm and will excommunicate the unrepentant heretic. Let us pray that in the next 30 days Fr. Bourgeois recognizes his heresy, recants, and asks for forgiveness.

Dad29 said...

Yes. He can redeem his soul ...

Terrence Berres said...

Looking for Fr. Bourgeois? From what he says, check at the point farthest removed from the Dark Night Of The Soul.

Daisy said...

We are blessed to have the courageous witness of Father Roy to the Gospel of Jesus. I find it interesting how little some Catholics know about Tradition, Church history, or Scripture study. Fr. Roy stands in the very best of Catholic Tradition when he speaks the truth to those in power.