Saturday, November 15, 2008

Supporting Fr. Roy Bourgeois

Dear Readers,
I've been absent here for a few days. We leave the Midwest in ten days. We're packing--everything must go with us or get boxed up and carried to the basement. It is a hassle, and I revert to my worse self at times like these. I worry I'll forget something vital. I don't take time to blog...or to read your blogs. Mr. B.E. and I argue. I'm stressed.

Worse, I'm seriously bummed out by the latest news about Maryknoll priest Fr. Roy Bourgeois. You may remember I praised his courageous pro-women's ordination stance here in mid-August. His order did their best to protect him, but the long arm of the Vatican reached across the Atlantic and gave him 30 days to recant his statement supporting women's ordination or face excommunication.

Roy wrote back, a response that pretty well seals his fate. I'm sure he was prepared for this consequence and had not acted hastily. Given the state of the Church, he knew his act would be seen as provocative. But...what a state of affairs this reveals.

Let the Roman Catholic Church publish all the flowery and coyingly sweet statements it wants on the value of women. The action here overrides anything they write. I know of no perpetraitors of the sexual assault of children who were excommunicated. Perhaps there were some; I don't track it carefully. But WTF?? Simply to support women's ordination is grounds to kick ya out??? What kind of mysogynist outfit are they trying to run? This makes their negativity toward women...[or is it an insane grasp on leadership power?]...immanently clear to me--and to anyone else who cares to look. I say, "Let the world look. See and judge for yourself."

Some of my friends are personal friends of Roy's. Everyone I know respects him, as do I. Read his statement to the Vatican, and I think you will too. I privately consider his action of support for women's ordination as a sort of spiritual martyrdom act--giving up his life in the Church in a symbolic statement for what he sees as moral. It is his last gasp. He's giving everything but his life to make the point.

Some people are organizing to write to the Vatican. Roy encourages us to speak up; silence is complicity, he reminds us. But I am seriously bummed out, and I think I will save my energy for something more productive. I'm giving up on the Church. I think I've been hanging out in the vestibule, and this might be the usher opening the door out for me.

We'll see.
ACTIONS TO SUPPORT - Rev. Roy Bourgeois

Some have asked for addresses to write their support of Father Roy and to ask 
that he not be excommunicated.  Petitions are also appropriate.  
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 Bourgeois
7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 902
New Orleans, LA 70118
Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W,
Washington, DC
Telephone: (202) 333-7121 - Fax: 337-4036

Pope Benedict XVI 
00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano, Europe

The Pope’s email address is:
FAX from USA: 011-39-06698-85378 
Congregation for Doctrine of Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy
Telephone:; - Fax:

Superior General, John Sivalon at 
and to the three-member Maryknoll Council at  
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 Father Roy Bourgeois
7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 902
New Orleans, LA 70118


Ingrid said...

good luck with the move BE..I'm sorry for the stress that that brings, I know it all too well!!
As for Father Roy, I will see what I can do, my little drop in the bucket as it is shameful isn't it? I have no doubt that the child molesters did not get's a whole other can o'worms to be asking for women's's a man's world and like in Islam, women are very threatening to 'the Church'...
As a former European..I just think, yep, typical Vatican..that'll never change I hate to say..

all the best with the move etc.. any luck (for us) and you comin' closer to Austin TX? We'd love to have you,

double hugs


Jan said...

Good luck with the move. Where do you go in TX? I'm in Corpus Christi, which is somewhat close to the border. . .

Robert Rouse said...

BE, you've been tagged

Dada said...

B.E. - First of've been missed the last couple of days. There was notice of a retreat, so some of the angst was alleviated.

But this is an excellent post and further evidence of 'the powers that be' flexing their muscle (as always). Thank you for the update on Fr. Bourgeois.

As for the rising tension/stress levels currently being experienced: be assured, Mrs. Dada and I have come to expect this on the eve of every big trip. It's a sign a journey is very imminent which is a cue for us down here on the border to start getting excited!

ThomasLB said...

I think moving is one of the most stressful things an adult goes through. I hope you've reached the tipping point where things start to go a little smoother.

I'm an ex-Catholic, so I'm very careful about what I say on church issues. I'll just say that it sounds like Father Roy is one of the good ones, and I hope they are able to work out an accommodation.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'll be thinking of you during the move. And thank you for posting this about Father Roy when you have so much on your plate.

thailandchani said...

Wow.. suh a major move! I find moving to be extraordinarily difficult, as most people do. Good luck with it.

Fr Roy is one of the good guys. I hope it works out for him and that he gets the support he needs.

My faith, in general, is opposed to same-sex marriage, too, which I find bizarre. Still, we all have to think for ourselves on these kinds of issues. We can be given guidelines but then it's up to us to decide.


an average patriot said...

Good luck with the move! I do not for the life of me understand why Women can not be ordained. I could care less about sexual preference, sax, race, color, as long as you have the qualifications. Religion even by some Catholics is being perverted in the race to have it your way in the mad race to the future!

susan said...

I too promise to write a letter as you request but I don't expect anything we say to have much of an effect. The Roman Catholic Church, viewed by some as the Mother Church of Christianity has an entire history of being run by the Fathers.

Frere Roy is in good company when it comes to dissent with church policy. In 1517 to express his growing concern of church corruption, Martin Luther wrote his famous 95 Theses, which called for a full reform of the Christian Church. In it, he stressed the following points:

- People could only win salvation by faith in God's forgiveness. The Church taught that faith, along with good works was needed for salvation.

- The Pope is a false authority. The bible was the one true authority.

- All people with faith in Christ were equal. People did not need priest and bishops to interpret the bible for them. They could read it themselves and make up their own minds.

He was also excommunicated and had to go into hiding for a year to avoid assassination. The newly devised printing press allowed his message to be widely circulated and when he reappeared the Lutheran church had been established.

Who knows what may come of the steady push by new generations of principled priests? I wish your friend well.

I hope your move goes smoothly too and I'm sure there are lots of people looking forward to your arrival at the Border.

Carol said...

My best wishes for peace and ease as you continue with your move.

I admire Fr. Bourgeois for his stand. Thanks for posting a link to his well-reasoned response to the threat of excommunication. I just have a feeling that things regarding women in the priesthood will change - in their typical, too-slow-for-my-tastes way.

Border Explorer said...

Thanks, Ingrid. We're headed to El Paso and you're welcome anytime! You too, Jan!

Robert, that tag is now in my queue.

Dada, good to see you here. You are so right on the moving stress. But fire up...I'll appreciate a welcoming committee when we arrive to make up for the stress. ;-D

Thomas--good policy. Maybe I should imitate you. If I officially leave, I will.

Ruth, thanks for your support. For me and for Fr. Roy.

Chani, with some luck, we'll make it through this. Roy will live through it, but looks like he won't come out on the other end as an official Catholic. In a hundred years or so, he'll be named a saint I suppose.

James, I think like you about categories. It is competencies that matter.

Thanks, dear Susan, for your encouraging comments. I was thinking about Luther also. Sometimes it takes a long time, but eventually the truth reigns.


Ingrid said...

el paso..been through there when we moved from AL to AZ 8yrs ago..
well, I guess it must be closer than where you are right now..

if I'm ever heading out that way, I'll be sure to let you know..

hang in there,



Mariamariacuchita said...

take care and have a safe move...I know you will do fine. It's just the packing and unpacking that usually do me in. (We've moved 3 times in 5 years!)

Renegade Eye said...

Bourgeoise is from Minneapolis, if I'm not mistaken. He was involved with activism for decades.

This blogger from St. Paul whom I know personally, is involved with gay issues in the church.

Good luck with the move.

FranIAm said...

Oh BE, I have been absent for days - I am sorry for your stress. Hang in there.

I know how you feel about all of this. I am ongoing in my own struggles in and with my church.

There are some ugly lines drawn in the RC church right now - a lot of ugly lines, more than usual.

Sherry said...

Hope the move goes smoothly. I heard about the threat from the Vatican this morning. It too sickens me. I am soooo very tired of their tale of "equal but different." They are losing members left and right. it is so sad. You might consider the Episcopal Church BE if you seriously can't hack it as a RC any more. I seriously am more happy there than I can tell you. I'm sure not all congregations are the same, but at least mine is absolutely the best. I've never met a more incredible group of thinking, caring people.

Randal Graves said...

Bonne chance with your travelin' band. As for Father Roy, a cliché is never truer: actions speak louder than words. He's in the right here, period.

Fran said...

Sorry to hear it. It's things like this that have caused me to ditch the catholic church.

Fran said...

Sorry to hear it. It's things like this that have caused me to ditch the catholic church.