Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of God: Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Saturday, September 17, 2016
"Priest defrocked but still defiant" by Will Chabun
"Roy Bourgeois considered himself a good soldier.
He’d done a military tour of duty in Vietnam, then — his idealism awakened — became a Roman Catholic priest in the Maryknoll Order, specialists in foreign missions.
But as time went by, he became more and more disenchanted — first, with American political and military intervention everywhere, but particularly in Central America. There, the U.S. government trained counter-revolutionary forces through the U.S. Army’s “Schools of the Americas” military counterinsurgency centre — even as local right-wing militias killed peasants, priests and even Bishop Oscar Romero.
Bourgeois also became increasingly uncomfortable with the Roman Catholic Church’s own attitudes toward LGBT people and the ordination of women. He pressed his complaints so persistently and firmly that he eventually got a letter from the Vatican, defrocking him as a priest.
Bourgeois — who is in Regina this weekend to speak — says polls in the U.S., for example, consistently show fully 75 per cent of Catholics are opposed to the church’s stand on these issues. He also says 1976 Vatican study found no scriptural opposition to the ordination of women.
But nothing changes.
Young people — “who do not have the same image of God” — continue to drift away from the church, and the clergy ages.
His analysis is that the cause is entrenched sexism and complacency in the church’s senior management, with reformers, even in the clergy, cowed into silence by those reluctant to give up the power and privilege that comes an all-male priesthood. He holds out little hope of changes even from Pope Francis, arguing that the pope is aware of the pressure for ordaining woman priests and of the abuse, even persecution of LGBT persons, but refuses to act. He does not foresee an Anglican-style schism or split between liberals or conservatives, but instead quick decline, saying, “what I see is the Catholic church right now in a real crisis.”But like guerrillas, some Catholics are fighting back, Bourgeois adds.He says around 100 women in the U.S. have been quietly ordained by bishops who keep their own identities secret, though the women are not viewed by church management “as being priests in good standing.” This weekend’s event will discuss these issues. It takes place from 9 a.m until 3 p.m. Saturday at Sunset United Church, 177 Sunset Dr. There is a fee of $30 for Saturday’s event.Spokesman Felix Kryzanowski — whose wife Jane was ordained as a married woman priest in 2015 — says it is being organized by three “circles”, mainly Catholic, whose members are interested in these issues: Sophia Sisters, Celebration Circle, and Spirit Seekers. "More information on this weekend’s event is