Catholic Priest Breaks Silence on Women’s Ordination
Release date: February 16, 2010
Media Contacts: Fr. Roy Bourgeois at 706-570-5359
Janice Sevre-Duszynska at 859-684-4247, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridget Mary Meehan at 941-955-2313, 703-505-0004, email@example.com
Visit: http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/ and http://www.bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/
On Saturday, February 20, 2010, Father Roy Bourgeois, Maryknoll priest of 38 years, founder of the School of the Americas Watch and Nobel Peace Prize nominee will speak in support of women’s ordination and the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement. The presentation will take place from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. at St. Andrew United Church of Christ, 6908 Beneva Road in Sarasota, FL 34238. The event is sponsored by Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community and is part of a national tour. "Sexism is a sin," said Fr. Roy Bourgeois in an August 2008 homily at the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska in Lexington, KY. "No matter how hard we may try to justify discrimination, in the end, it is always wrong and immoral." Bourgeois, a Roman Catholic priest, is facing excommunication for his public support of women’s ordination and the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement. "The hierarchy will say, it is the tradition of the church not to ordain women," Bourgeois continued. "I grew up in a small town in Louisiana and often heard, ‘It is the tradition of the South to have segregated schools.’ It was also ‘the tradition’ in our Catholic church to have the Black members seated in the last five pews of the church. 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." In addition to his religious work, Bourgeois is the founder of the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch, and is internationally known for his work to end U.S. government–funded training of Latin American soldiers in torture techniques. Fr. Roy and SOA Watch were recently nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee. In 1994 Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter Ordination Sacerdotalis which states that Catholics may not even speak about women’s ordination. Fr. Roy is breaking this glass ceiling on his national tour. Bridget Mary Meehan, Roman Catholic Woman bishop of the Southern Region and pastor of Mary, Mother of Jesus Catholic Community, said, "Women served as deacons, priests and bishops in the early Church. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are leading the Church into a new era of renewal by reclaiming our ancient tradition of women as disciples and equals." Bourgeois and Dorothy Irvin, archaeologist and theologian known for her work on women priests in the Early Christian tradition, will present the Levi Award in absentia to Ruth Kolpack and Sr. Louise Akers. Established by the Minnesota-based Lydia’s Gathering Foundation, the Levi Award recognizes Catholics dismissed from employment or excommunicated by the Church for supporting women’s equality. For more information, contact Dorothy Irvin at 612-387-3784.