The Sad End of the Priestly Ministry of Mr. Roy Bourgeois
We invite our readers to pray for Mr. Bourgeois
Disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women's ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and laicization. Then Fr. Bourgeois engaged in an obstinate crusade which involved public and direct defiance of the Holy See and a repudiation of the unbroken teaching of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church concerning sacred ordination.
MARYKNOLL, N.Y. (Catholic Online) - The short Press Release from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers confirmed some sad news on Monday, November 19, 2012. The priestly ministry of Roy Bourgeois has come to an end:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith Canonically Dismisses Roy Bourgeois
Nov. 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.
Few Press sources have reported on this sad news. The National catholic Reporter (NCR) which calls itself an "Independent News Source", carried an article by Joshua J. McElwee entitled "Maryknoll: Vatican has dismissed Roy Bourgeois from order" The article began by acknowledging the dismissed cleric's role as a "longtime peace activist".
However, even that newspaper which had heralded the former member of Maryknoll as a champion of several of their pet causes, did not try to connect his work for peace with the dismissal. To do so would have been absolutely incorrect.
There are many "longtime peace activist" members of the clergy who stay obedient to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. Sadly, after 45 years in the Maryknoll community and 39 years as a priest of the Catholic Church, this one did not and he is now referred to as Mr. Bourgeois.
That is because he engaged in an intentional and protracted act of rebellion against the clear teaching of the Catholic Church.
Mr. Roy Bourgeois was ordained to the priesthood in 1972. From the beginning of his priestly ministry he worked with the poor and the oppressed. He took public and sometimes controversial stands against Latin American leaders who did not respect human dignity and seemed to have little concern for the oppressed or the poor.
He founded the "School of the America's Watch" in 1990 to call attention to what he long maintained was American complicity in some of the very unjust activities he had dedicated his life and ministry to exposing, opposing and changing.
Up to that point, Catholics of various political persuasions could - and often did - disagree with him and his leftist political leanings. However, he was within his rights to engage in that work. He had not veered from Catholic teaching in so doing.
However, all that changed on August 9, 2008 when Fr. Bourgeois chose to become a "concelebrant" and homilist at the attempted ordination to the "priesthood" of Janice Sevre-Duszynska. The attempted "ordination" occurred at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington, KY.
Then Fr. Bourgeois engaged in an obstinate crusade which involved public and direct defiance of the Holy See and a repudiation of the unbroken teaching of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church concerning sacred ordination.
He received a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which explained his errors with a genuine concern for his salvation. It gave him a time period within which to recant his "belief and public statements that support the ordination of women in our Church, or (he) will be excommunicated."
That action followed overt, repeated, defiant and public rejection of efforts from the leadership within his own religious community to return him to full fidelity with the teaching of the Catholic Church.
His letter of response to the Holy See was defiant and dismissive. It was ...
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