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Maryknoll: Vatican Has Dismissed Father Roy Bourgeois from Order ~ National Catholic Reporter

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  • Frank Dorrel
    National Catholic Reporter Maryknoll: Vatican Has Dismissed Father Roy Bourgeois from Order
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 19, 2012
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      National Catholic Reporter
      Maryknoll: Vatican Has Dismissed Father Roy Bourgeois from Order
      http://ncronline.org/news/people/maryknoll-vatican-has-dismissed-roy-bourgeo
      is-order

      Joshua J. McElwee <http://ncronline.org/authors/joshua-j-mcelwee> -
      November 19, 2012

      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 Woman priest 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 <http://ncronline.org/node/29249> . 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 <http://ncronline.org/node/30865> ,
      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@...

      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.

      www.soaw.org



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