Saturday, August 16, 2008

More and more letters in support of Fr. Roy Bourgeois and his prophetic stance with Roman Catholic Womenpriests

Dear Father Sivalon and Maryknoll Council:

This letter is to support Father Roy Bourgeois for his priestly decisions to attend the August 9 ordination of Janice Sevré-Duszynska as a Roman Catholic Womanpriest, to concelebrate the ordination Mass, and to give one of the homilies.

I am a Catholic theologian and a longtime friend of Janice, and I was also at the ordination. I was inspired by Father Bourgeois's presence and by his homily.

I have been to several ordinations of Roman Catholic Womenpriests. I am convinced of their validity and of the apostolic succession of the ordaining bishops. Thus, I believe that it is flying in the face of God's Will for Church officials to speak of disciplining any of the participants in these ordinations. I note that the Vatican's May 30 decree on women's ordination only threatened sanctions for those who "attempt" ordination. Since the ordaining bishops in Roman Catholic Womenpriests were ordained by male bishops in communion with the Vatican, the womenbishops were ordained in apostolic succession. Thus, the priestly ordinations they perform are not "attempts." They are the real thing.

Moreover, I think it is sacrilegious to speak of excommunicating anyone who participates in these ordinations. Excommunication can only come from God or from a person who makes a positive decision that they no longer wish to be a part of the Roman Catholic Church. None of the women and men ordained in Roman Catholic Womenpriests, or their supporters, have decided to leave the Church.

The Gospel for yesterday's Sunday Mass was about Jesus meeting the Canaanite woman. That is a Gospel that has always puzzled me because it presents Jesus as such a nasty, harsh person. If its purpose were just to present the power of faith or the extension of salvation to the Gentiles, as is the usual interpretation, Jesus could have done that without being so ungodly and distasteful - so unChristian. However, yesterday I finally had an insight into the meaning of that Gospel and why Jesus had to say what He did. It is a message to the hierarchy and others in the Church. "Do not treat women like dogs!" It is a message to the hierarchy - "Do not act like bouncers, trying to throw women out of the presence of Jesus," as the apostles did in this story of the Canaanite woman.

If women were only dogs, then it would be okay to deny them ordination. We say that dogs do not have human souls and so cannot have the life of God, in the form of sanctifying grace, within them. We say that dogs are not imago dei or alter Christus. We say that dogs were not redeemed by Christ (except in a cosmic sense). The hierarchy of the Church cannot have it both ways. If women are imago dei, alter Christus, have sanctifying grace, and are redeemed by Christ, then they cannot be treated like dogs. Yet, it is to treat women like dogs to deny women ordination. This is a justice issue. It is not simply a matter of Church discipline, like the ordination of married men.

Moreover, I think it is blasphemous to deny ordination to women. The rationale for this denial says that this is what God wants. That means that God wants women to be treated like dogs. It is also sinful to continue to pray for vocations while the hierarchy of the Church ignores the vocations that God has been giving to women and married men, preferring to dismantle the sacramental system of the Church by closing parishes rather than ordain women and married men. Perhaps this is the sin against the Holy Spirit, which Jesus condemned in the Gospels.

I hope that your meeting with Father Roy Bourgeois today is simply to learn from him about the August 9 ordination in Lexington and to hear from him personally on why he believes women should be ordained. I hope it is not to discipline him, either because a desire to discipline comes from the Maryknoll order itself, or because it is being sought by Cardinal Egan and the Vatican (as rumor has it).

I also hope that after your meeting with Father Bourgeois, you will even go a step further and commit Maryknoll to the cause of advancing women's ordination in the universal Church.

Thank you for your attention to this letter.

Sincerely,

Marjorie Reiley Maguire
Dear Father Sivalon and Council Members,

The whole Church is aware and grateful for the long and wonderful contribution of Maryknoll and the truly heroic men and women who have dedicated their lives to spread the message of Jesus throughout the world. The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church--ARCC Board members have known many of them, worked with them, and shared their spirituality, joy, and dedication.

Surely no one has demonstrated this prophetic spirit and clear commitment to the message of Jesus than Father Roy Bourgeois. At baptism we followers of Jesus did not receive a pick and choose commitment to justice—“loves minimum,” according to Pope Pius XI. It was and is clear and unconditional. Roy Bourgeois is a shining Maryknoll light for the world to see, a courageous example of the spirit of Maryknoll’s clear dedication to justice and peace. He is one of your most visible spokespersons.

We urge you to support him as he lives and expresses what is known in the hearts of the people of God, namely, that violence against anyone, not only physical, but psychological or spiritual as well, is contrary to God’s will and a betrayal of our commitment to Jesus.

ARCC has supported the equality of women from its inception over 25 years ago and we support Father
Bourgeois in his courageous stance. We urge you to be true to the Maryknoll charism of Justice and also strongly sustain Roy Bourgeois.

Sincerely,

Leonard Swidler, Ph.D., S.T.L., LL.D., LL.D.
Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue
Co-Founder and Editor, Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Co-Founder and President, Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church

Dear Father Sivalon (Superior General), and Council Members,
We, two theologians from Germany, want to express our concern and solidarity for Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who supported publicly women's ordination during an ordination ceremony in Lexington/USA.
We have been struggling for women's ordination already since Vatican Council (1962-1065). In 1963 we submitted a petition to the Vatican Council asking for full equality of women in our church.
Moreover, I (Ida Raming) have written my doctoral thesis on the exclusion of women from priesthood (published in 1973 in Germany, 1976 in USA by Scarecrow Press; second edition: The priestly Office of Women. God's Gift to a Renewed Church (Scarecrow 2004).
We know all to well that the exclusion of women from priesthood is based on a longlasting discrimination. Therefore we cannot give up our aim: full equality of women in our church, as the letter to the Galatians says: "Through faith and by baptism in the name of Christ ... there is no longer Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female.." (cf. Gal 3:25-28).
We appreciate very much that Fr. Roy Bourgeois has given a prophetic homily during the ordination ceremony. We welcome his bold words based also on the text Gal 3.
We stand in solidariy with him and we do wish that more male priests stand up for full equality of women in our church.
My history (Dr. Iris Müller) also has been severely burdened by the inferior position of women in the church: As a protestant theologian I converted to the Catholic Church already in 1958. Although I loved this church, f.i. because of its more "whole" liturgy , I suffered very much from the discrimination of women in this church. Whereas protestant women theologians can become pastors catholic women are excluded from this important ministry. So I lost this perspective after my conversion - until today!
As you know very well protestant male pastors who convert to the Catholic Church can become priests even if they are married and have children!
So you see the injustice if you compare these two ways and situations!
We cannot keep silent in view of this severe discrimination. Our protest is based on the words of the Bible: "We must obey God more than men..." (Acts 5:29).
Blessings and Peace to you and your community,
Ida Raming, Dr. theol., Iris Müller, Dr. theol.

Dear Maryknoll Community,
Peace be with you.
Father Roy participated in my ordination last Saturday. His action was prophetic in much the same way that he demonstrates against violence at Ft. Benning to close the SOA / WHINSEC. The only difference is that the Vatican has not yet made that connection...so this is a prophetic opportunity for you to lead the Vatican and the people of God forward to bring about the Kindom of which Jesus spoke. That Kindom is very palpable in Roy's presence. In Liz McCallister's presence. John Dear's. Joan Chittister's. Frank Cordaro's. Kathy Kelly's. Louis Vitale's. Kathy Boylan's. Jerry Zawada's....

One of my mentors on my journey to the priesthood was Dominican Sister Marge Tuite. I met her in 1981 at a Woman Church Convergence gathering in Chicago and later at Alverno College in Milwaukee. She was able to put into words what I believe Jesus understood: "Make the connections," she said, "between sexism, racism, militarism, capitalism, nationalism and colonialism." It has taken years for her words to permeate my being and for me to understand them.

They are the ways in which we disempower others while Jesus calls us to empower each other. They are the ways in which we enslave people while Jesus calls us to freedom and liberation. They are the ways to exploit other human beings while Jesus calls us to right relationships of a radical egalitarian nature, treating each one as our neighbor. In other words, we are all to be on an equal playing field, according to the teachings of Jesus who we follow.

When our Church does not include feminine images of God, women and our world community suffer. When our Church does not include women on the altar imaging the sacred, women and our world community suffer. When our Church does not allow women's priestly voices to interpret the Gospels from our lived experiences, women and our world community suffer.

There is a direct relationship, dear Maryknoll community, between the violence that continues to wreak chaos and havoc in our world -- and the domination/subordination paradigm imprinted upon our collective and personal consciousness -- that men control women and that women's sufferings remain invisible. If men can still control women, i.e., no inclusive images of God, no women at the altar imaging the Imago Dei, no women's voices to take stock of the Gospels and relate them to our womanly living and dying -- then men can also enslave others, exploit others, make war over others, bully others, abuse others...and Jesus' words go by the wayside.

My hope is that you've already made the connections -- as the Maryknolls are known worldwide for their outspoken protection of the marginalized and oppressed -- and you'll move with the Spirit to free our Church from the brick and mortar that weigh it down... Understand why Roy came to my ordination and where he's at: a place of Light, Transparency, and Hope in Christ that transforms us at every turn. Be gentle with Roy, as he is a man of God...Hear the Spirit (not Church law) when he comes before you.

Your sister in faith,
Janice Sevre-Duszynska

Dear Maryknoll community,
I understand from http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/1616 that as a result of his participation in the priestly ordination of my wife, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been summoned "to come home and explain to us what happened.” What a quaint and euphemistic way of expressing the apparent situation. It's even smoother than polite declarations in London newspapers that suspects undergoing rigorous interrogation are "helping the authorities with their investigation." I doubt that police in Montgomery, Alabama were as civil as your superior general and the British press when they placed Rosa Parks under arrest for violating a patently unjust law in 1955.

Am I rushing to judgment in assuming that the leadership at Maryknoll will punish Fr. Bourgeois for acknowledging that the Holy Spirit is utterly devoid of human bigotry regarding gender, race, age, sexual orientation, eye color, blood type and other characteristics of our mortal bodies? Perhaps, but recent statements from the Vatican on women's ordination, together with the apparent failure of the Maryknolls to congratulate Fr. Bourgeois immediately for his courage to act as a true Christian in Lexington on August 9th give me little hope that anyone in your community (except Fr. Bourgeois) places conscience above comfort, coziness and cash flow.

Nevertheless, if you choose to throw Fr. Bourgeois to the wolves, know that you will be forgiven. After all, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" was said in reference to people who treated someone with far less compassion than you are likely to extend to your Maryknoll brother. In the next life, you'll probably get off without a scratch, or maybe with just a slap on the wrist. The only real punishment will come here on earth, from yourself -- and those around you -- who will eventually understand that with your unmitigated collaboration, authorities in the Roman Catholic Church have grievously harmed a brother for doing what is morally right, regardless of the cost to himself.

I hope that I am sorely mistaken about your intentions, and Rome's, when Fr. Bourgeois returns home. Also, I hope that in speaking with him you will keep the story and 1955 booking image of Rosa Parks (below) in mind. I clipped it from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_parks . But most of all, I hope that you will greet Fr. Bourgeois -- and vicariously, all those who love and respect him -- with open hearts, long overdue congratulations for his support of women's ordination, and a symbolic gift. May I respectfully suggest a contribution to SOA Watch from every member of the Maryknoll community in the amount of $14, this
comprising the $10 fine plus $4 court costs that Rosa Parks was required to pay for her conviction on charges of disorderly conduct and violation of a local ordinance while on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955.

May I also request that you reflect upon the terrible consequences of long-standing support by an enormous number of "Christians" for the enslavement of dark-skinned people of African ancestry. This horrific injustice, like the training of terrorists by the U.S. government in the SOA/WHINSEC and the unequal treatment and subordination of women that is relentlessly imposed by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, is among the many unconscionable acts that your Maryknoll brother, Roy Bourgeois, has found the courage to oppose.

The excerpts I've included below deal with the end of an institutionalized injustice against black people in America. Please stand with Fr. Bourgeois in rejecting the institutionalized subordination of women.

Yours sincerely,

Robert A. Pohowsky
Nicholasville, KY


http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_n21_v112/ai_17332136
SBC renounces racist past - Southern Baptist Convention
Christian Century, July 5, 1995
The resolution declared that messengers, as SBC delegates are called, "unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin" and "lament and repudiate historic acts of evil such as slavery from which we continue to reap a bitter harvest." It offered an apology to all African-Americans for "condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime" and repentance for "racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously or unconsciously."


http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/17/opinion/17KRIS.html?ex=1091123060&ei=1&en=1b1984434af9d57b
Many American Christians once read the Bible to mean thatAfrican-Americans were cursed as descendants of Noah's sonHam, and were intended by God to be enslaved. In the 19thcentury, millions of Americans sincerely accepted thisBiblical justification for slavery as God's word - butsurely it would have been wrong to defer to such racistnonsense simply because speaking out could have beenperceived as denigrating some people's religious faith.


http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/14/books/review/14WOODLT.html?ex=1072366633&ei=1&en=790bd4d846ae6623
If anything can take founders like Washington and Jeffersonout of our present and place them back into the particularcontext of their time, it is this fact that they wereslaveholders. Slavery is virtually inconceivable to us. Wecan scarcely imagine one person owning another for life.Seeing Washington and Jefferson as slaveholders, men whobought, sold and flogged slaves, has to change ourconception of them. They don't belong to us today; theybelong to the 18th century, to that coarse and brutal worldthat is so remote from our own.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/26/opinion/26DOWD.html?ex=1078804374&ei=1&en=50d607ba85bdf831
The pols [politicians] keep arguing that institutions can't be changedwhen, in fact, they change all the time. Haven't they everheard of the institution of slavery?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Letters in Support of Maryknoll Priest Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who co-celebrated the liturgy at Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordination in KY.

Catherine M. (Scott) Zatsick
6300 N. Wayne Ave #1
Chicago, IL 60660

Dear Priests of Maryknoll,

I have supported the work and ministry of Maryknoll for over 40 years. I am a member of SOA Watch and spoke at the November vigil for closing the SOA in 2007. I am also a member of Women’s Ordination Conference and have been for over 20 years as I, like Janice, hear the call of the Spirit to ordination in the Roman Catholic Church.

I had the esteemed honor of reading from the Gospel of Matthew at Janice’s ordination on August 9, 2008. I adapted the Gospel to speak to women’s experience and that of the People of God within the Roman Catholic Church. We suffer the spiritual and emotional violence of denial of our very being as daughters of God by the Roman Catholic Church. This violence and soul destruction is as real as the emotional trauma and physical violence to the people of South and Central America caused by American training of their national soldiers at Ft. Benning.

Fr. Roy stands with the people of Central and South America in their oppression. On August 9, Fr. Roy chose to stand with women of the Roman Catholic Church in their oppression. I include the Gospel for your reflection as you attempt to listen to and to understand why Fr. Roy made the moral decision arising from his adult Roman Catholic conscience to join us at Janice’s ordination to the priesthood.

Matthew 5: 3-12
Blessed are those who are poor in spirit: the kindom of heaven is ours.
Blessed are those who are mourning: we will be consoled.
Blessed are those who are gentle: we will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice: we will have our fill.
Blessed are those who show mercy to others: we will be shown mercy.
Blessed are those whose hearts are clean: we will see God.
Blessed are those who work for peace: Janice you are a daughter of God. Roy you are a son of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of our struggle for justice: the kindom of heaven is ours.

We are fortunate when others insult us and persecute us, and utter every kind of slander against us because of Jesus. Be glad and rejoice, for our reward in heaven is great; they persecuted the prophets before us in the very same way.

This is the Good News of Jesus, our Brother the Christ.

As you prepare for your Monday meeting with Fr. Roy, I would respectfully ask that you reflect on the passage from Paul’s letter to Galatians 3:26-28:

Each one of you is a child of God because of your faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, slave or citizen, male or female. All are one in Christ Jesus.*

This is the kindom of Jesus who is our Way. Come follow Him to justice for women in the Roman Catholic Church. Join Fr. Roy in this work of peacemaking; his life and actions are founded on the charism of Maryknoll to minister with those marginalized by the world and the Church. How could Fr. Roy have made any other choice? How can you?
Your sister in Christ,
Katy
Hospice Chaplain and Member of Pax Christi
773 508 4005
katyzatsick@sbcglobal.net
*The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation: 2007


Dear John Sivalon:
I had two things happen this week that tells me there is hope and a commonsense energy for our church:
1. That finally more priests and brothers are starting to recognize women as equals and refuse to discriminate against them. I dream that Fr. Bourgeois will be given an award for his courage to finally look at women as equals instead of servants. I often wonder whywomen support a misogynistic institution and when I ask this question at dinner parties or even at committee meetings at St. Joan's, they have to think about it and finally come to the conclusion that it is tradition that keeps them (in line, a term that I fear is on the minds of our churchleaders). I'm all in support of having an ordained woman priest be hired at our church. Though there is no talk about this except from me. She would certainly be in communion with me and probably the other 8,000+ members of St. Joan's.
2. I read the book entitled Cardinal Mahony, A Novel by Robert Blair Kaiser.I have two words for the prospect of our hierarchy after reading this bookand they are: IF ONLY. If only the hierarchy was more Christ-like. I heardRobert Blair speak at St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis a few weeks agoand all the books he brought with him were sold (sold out) at the firstMass.We ordered one directly from him and my wife and couldn't put it down. Irecommend that you read it and then add multiple copies to your library. You can order directly from www.robertblairkaiser.com He also wrote, A Church in Search of Itself among many more.Put me on your mailing list as I would like to make a donation and help payfor any AWARD that you find fitting for Fr. Bourgeois. I would like to write to him and congratulate him. If you wouldn't mind forwarding this e-mail to him, I'd appreciate it.
My background is that I grew up in the Catholic Church, have relatives that were a bishop (Bishop Brust) and a monsignor (Brust) both in Milwaukee, WI.and a good number of priests in the extended family. I attended the minor seminary for three years. My wife and I both graduated from MarquetteUniversity. I grew up with strong women, grandmothers, aunts, mother,(wife, author of Christian Feminism)two daughters -- one a 1st grade teacher who was influenced by a nun in first grade, and another daughter that is doing very well and living in Chicago and about to have her first baby. That will make 9 grandchildren for us.
The Achilles heel of the church, I feel, is an educated population. Even though my four children went to Catholic schools and all got their degrees from good schools and have traveled the world, they are not church goers.They are good kids but they look for the truth and can't stand hypocrisy.For example: no, divorce but annulment (which is a slap in the female's face if the familyhas children) is O.K., no contraception which is totally unrealistic,celibate clergy (an inhumane required condition for the clergy), etc.Finally, all the man-made laws are reversible. If we go to autochthony, the American Catholic Church would be just fine.
Respectfully,
Joel C. Papa SR.

14 August 2008
Gentlemen,
I write because I understand that Fr. Roy Bourgeois MM has been summoned to an August 18 meeting with you, his Maryknoll superiors. I do not know the agenda of that meeting but i am concerned that, under pressure from the Church hierarchy, you may reprove Fr. Roy for his role in Janice Sevre-Duszynska's recent ordination in Lexington, Kentucky.
Fr. Roy is the founder and universally-respected leader of the SOA Watch movement. For much of the last 15 years I have been passionately involved in that movement. Inspired by Fr. Roy, I have twice gone to federal prison for nonviolently working to expose and close the US Army's School of the Americas. Each November dozens of my fellow Central New Yorkers travel to Georgia to participate in the solemnities commemorating the 1989 slaughter of six Roman Catholic priests by SOA graduates in El Salvador. For some years now that annual event has been attended by between 10,000 and 20,000 people of conscience and people of faith . These include many nuns and priests from all over the United States.
Fr. Roy and SOA Watch are currently campaigning to get Latin American governments to withdraw their soldiers from the SOA. With its several successes thus far, this campaign is a life-saving initiative on behalf of the poor and the Christian in Latin America. In my experience Fr. Roy models dignity, personalism, intelligence and courage. Fr. Roy has been a remarkable role model of Christian action. More than any priest I know of, Fr. Roy models the "reconciling and liberating Jesus" of the Maryknoll mission statement.
Few of us have spent as many years in prison as Fr. Roy. Few of us have so outspokenly proclaimed truth to power. Few of us have so effectively spread truth among we who need to have our consciousness raised and our conscience pricked.
Convinced that women too reflect the image of God, and deeply distressed by the gender inequities within the Church, Fr. Roy, in concelebrating Janice's ordination mass, has publicly aligned himself with the Roman Catholic Womenpriests. By doing so he would refresh an otherwise withering and wrong-headed Church -- a Church some believe has lost its moral compass. He helps nudge the Church into reforming some of its own un-Jesuslike traditions...and helps restore to the Church its standing to speak out against the anti-Christian policies of our rulers.
You are the leaders of your esteemed Order. You have the burden and privilege to act with character and wisdom. When you meet with Fr. Roy on Monday I urge you to embrace him and to pledge to do all you can to encourage and facilitate his prophetic work.
Respectfully,
Ed Kinane

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Roman Catholic Womenpriests' Statement of Support for Maryknoll priest Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Letters of Support from People of God



(Fr. Roy laying hands on at ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska)
To express your support for Fr. Roy who is being called to address his prophetic witness on Monday, Aug. 17,2008, by emailing Maryknoll Superiors at:
mkl@maryknoll.org


View Fr. Roy's Homily on google
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8981028910855872604

Priest to meet Maryknoll leaders over role in Womenpriests’ ceremony
By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service
August 14, 2008
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0804167.htm

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5589903504827146713
"We are marching, singing, dancing in the light of God" as we issue a new day of justice and equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church.
Join us in the dance of transformation to return our church to Jesus in the Gospels who called women and men to be disciples and equals!

Roman Catholic Womenpriests' Statement of Support for Fr. Roy Bourgeois

Contacts: Bridget Mary Meehan703-283-2929
Janice Sevre-Duszynska 859-684-4247

Founder of the School of the Americas Watch, Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois, co-celebrated with Roman Catholic Womenpriests at an ordination of a womanpriest, on Aug. 9, 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky. He has been summoned to meet with his superior and General Council in Maryknoll, New York on Monday, Aug.18, 2008. Cardinal Egan was involved in this summons.

In his prophetic homily, he stated: "Conscience is what compels Janice Sevre-Duszynskaand the other women to say, ‘No, we cannot deny our call from God to the priesthood.’ And it is our conscience that compels us to be here today. How can we speak out against the injustice of our country’s foreign policy in Latin America and Iraq if we are silent about the injustice of our church here at home? " Roman Catholic Womenpriests stand in solidarity with Fr.Roy Bourgeois, who has served God's people as a priest for 36 years as he meets with his superior and General Council in Maryknoll , New York on Monday, Aug.18, 2008. We affirm his courageous witness in support of women called to priesthood and his work for justice and peace in the world.

To show your support for Fr. Roy Bourgeois and womenpriests,
send emails to his 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

Visit Roman Catholic Womenpriests:
http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/


Letters of Support for Fr. Roy
To Maryknoll Superior General:
Letter 1
Reverend John C. Sivalon, M.M.
Superior General,
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
P.O. Box 304
Maryknoll, N.Y. 10545-0304

Dear Father Sivalon:

The word on the street is that there is to be some sort of inquiry or trial of Fr. Roy Bourgeois next week. No sense in 'trying to find out' what he did. The whole world knows, and most of have seen the video of his homily and his participation in the blessed, inspiring, valid ordination of another of the Roman Catholic Womanpriests in Lexington this past weekend. He would therefore be guilty of following the example and direction of Jesus and being guided by the Holy Spirit….and indeed, in violation of discriminatory, unjust, man-made laws based on unexamined dogma.

As long time followers and supporters of Maryknoll---men and women---and fans and supporters of Fr. Roy, ever since reading his exemplary history in MARYKNOLL MAGAZINE some years ago, my wife Helen and I have to believe that there is no way that the leaders and community of Maryknoll would ever subject their guy to a 'kangaroo court,' nor let him be 'hanged' or 'burned-at-the-stake,' …..nor 'fired.' I can't conceive of Maryknoll, with its life-long history of interfering with injustice, of being complicit in punishing one of its own for listening to and following his conscience…and Jesus. Maryknoll now has the opportunity lead the Church out of the 'Dark Ages' into the Light of the Holy Spirit in the 21st Century. We pray Maryknoll follows the Spirit's lead.

If these "punishments" do become inevitable in spite of the protests and prayers of many of us, then my wife and I demand that, as staunch supporters of Fr. Roy and what he stands for, be accorded the same "honor," the same 'hanging,' 'burning,' or' firing' that is given to Roy. I am sure many others out there will publicly seek the same honor/punishment, if that is what it takes to follow Jesus and not the laws of men. Therefore, we stand with Fr. Roy and Jesus.

Very sincerely yours, in Jesus,
John H. Duffy

Letter 2
August 13, 2008
Reverend John C. Sivalon, M.M.Superior General,Maryknoll Fathers and BrothersP.O. Box 304Maryknoll, N.Y. 10545-0304
Dear Father Sivalon:
The word on the street is that there is to be some sort of inquiry or trial of Fr. Roy Bourgeois next week. No sense in 'trying to find out' what he did. The whole world knows, and most of have seen the video of his homily and his participation in the blessed, inspiring, valid ordination of another of the Roman Catholic Womanpriests in Lexington this past weekend. He would therefore be guilty of following the example and direction of Jesus and being guided by the Holy Spirit….and indeed, in violation of discriminatory, unjust, man-made laws based on unexamined dogma.
As long time followers and supporters of Maryknoll---men and women---and fans and supporters of Fr. Roy, ever since reading his exemplary history in MARYKNOLL MAGAZINE some years ago, my wife Helen and I have to believe that there is no way that the leaders and community of Maryknoll would ever subject their guy to a 'kangaroo court,' nor let him be 'hanged' or 'burned-at-the-stake,' …..nor 'fired.' I can't conceive of Maryknoll, with its life-long history of interfering with injustice, of being complicit in punishing one of its own for listening to and following his conscience…and Jesus. Maryknoll now has the opportunity lead the Church out of the 'Dark Ages' into the Light of the Holy Spirit in the 21st Century. We pray Maryknoll follows the Spirit's lead.
If these "punishments" do become inevitable in spite of the protests and prayers of many of us, then my wife and I demand that, as staunch supporters of Fr. Roy and what he stands for, be accorded the same "honor," the same 'hanging,' 'burning,' or' firing' that is given to Roy. I am sure many others out there will publicly seek the same honor/punishment, if that is what it takes to follow Jesus and not the laws of men. Therefore, we stand with Fr. Roy and Jesus.
Very sincerely yours, in Jesus,
John H. Duffy
P.S. A short time after writing the above I was led to the memories of the times I stood at the graves of your gals in Chaletenango, and then of Jean Donovan in Sarasota, and then of Oscar Romero's blood-stained alb hanging in his humble apartment in San Salvador, and then at the site where the bodies of the 6 Jebbies, and two women lay on the grounds of UCA, in 1989.....and then I recalled Roy's anointed homily last Sunday in Lexington, as he, like those before him, chose to follow the way of Jesus and stand firm against injustice, no matter the cost. Maryknoll must now, at this pivotal time in history, ask itself the question, as did Roy, Oscar Romero, and the other like-Spirited ones:
Do we seek the approval of the hierarchy of the Church…or…do we seek the approval of Jesus?--
Jack & Helen Duffy103 S. Bowman Rd. # 505Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 ( May-Oct)(608) 253-2848282 Bainbridge DrNokomis, FL 34275 (Nov-Apr)(941) 483-3262mailto:483-3262jhduffy13@gmail.com

Letter 3:
Dear Father Sivalon:
The Maryknollers have always been ahead of the other religious orders in working for peace and justice in the world. When the rest of us were working comfortably in our US parishes and schools, you were out working with the underprivileged in poor countries. Now I hope and pray that you will again be at the forefront of religious orders in defending therights of women in our church. I applaud Fr. Roy Bourgeois for the courage and love demonstrated in supporting womenpriests. His conscienceled him to do what no other priest has done openly but thousands of laypeople, who have no reason to fear as you do, have done. 70% of Catholicssupport women priests and yet our church won't listen to the Sensus Fidelium.Joan Chittister's Benedictine order supported her when the Vatican ordered her to not speak at the Women's Ordination Conference in 2001. Consequently Joan spoke and continues to write and speak and hercommunity continues to do good works. I pray that your order will support Fr. Roy so that you and he can continue to be a strong voice inour church. May your conscience be as strong as Fr. Roy's and lead youto act justly.God bless you at this difficult time.
Dedicated and loving Catholics,
John and Ellen McNally
Estero, Florida

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Photos and Video Links: Roman Catholic Womenpriests Historic Ordinations in Lexington, Kentucky on Aug. 9, 2008

From Left to right: Kathy Redig,
Bridget Mary Meehan, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Bishop Dana Reynolds,
Janice Servre Duszynska




Bishop Dana Reynolds lays hands on Janice
in ordination ritual



Community lays hands on Janice









Janice sharing Eucharist to Bob, her husband




Historic first Southern Ordinations took place at Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington on Aug. 9, 2008



VIDEO CLIPS OF ORDINATION OF JANICE SEVRE-DUSZYNSKA:
Video Clip of Processional: "All are Welcome in this place"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6676687209467906900
Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Fr. Roy Bourgeois Homily
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Homily+of+Fr.+Roy+Bourgeois&emb=0#
Video Clip of Janice's Ordination- Prostration before the Altar: Litany of the Saints
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1350776209260830572
Laying on of Hands by the Community
Video Clip of Prayer of Consecration
Video Clip of Communion Reflection Hymn: "Let the Women be there"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=144203776954250987
Video Clip of Recessional: "We are Marching, Singing, Dancing in the Light of God"