Lift your Voice with Roy Bourgeois!
"Break the Silence. Shatter the Stained-Glass Ceiling"
1. Join over 8,000 justice-seeking Catholics and Sign the Petition in Support of Fr. Roy Bourgeois. Each of the organizations below have issued statements of Support for Fr. Roy:
Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests , 8th Day Center for Justice , The Federation of Christian Ministries’ Roman Catholic Faith , Community Council, Call to Action USA , Catholic Women’s Ordination UK , Hotline Human Rights Bangladesh Trust , Mary Magdala – Germany, National Coalition of American Nuns , New Ways Ministry , Pax Christi Maine , RAPPORT, Roman Catholic Womenpriests , Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference, St. Anthony’s Community-Santa Barbara , Voice of the Faithful-New Jersey , Womenpriests.org , Women’s Ordination Conference , Women’s Ordination Worldwide
2. Contact Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and express your support for Fr. Roy:
Father Edward Dougherty
PO Box 303
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0303
Fax: 914.944.3600 or Phone: 914.941.7590 Email: [email protected]
3. Download "Break The Silence On Women’s Ordination. Shatter the Stained Glass Ceiling!" Postcards Send these 4" X 6" postcards to your local church leaders or drop them in the collection basket. To mail, print postcards on heavy stock, fold, glue and cut to conform to Post Office regulations.
On August 9, 2008 Father Roy Bourgeois delivered a homily during the Ordination Ceremony of Roman Catholic WomenPriest, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, in Lexington, KY.
Soon after, on October 21, 2008 the Vatican sent a letter to the Maryknoll community stating that Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest of 36 years, had 30 days to recant his support of women’s ordination or he would be automatically excommunicated.
In response, the Women’s Ordination Conference initiated a campaign titled "Break the Silence. Shatter the Stained Glass Ceiling," with the Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests , Roman Catholics Womenpriests-USA and Call to Action as partners. The campaign included an online petition, the first of which garnered over 3,700 signatures in less than a week. Before the 30 days were up, WOC sent that petition to Pope Benedict XVI; the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., Archbishop Pietro Sambi; and Maryknoll Superior General, John Sivalon.
After thirty days passed, Fr. Bourgeois stood firm in his stance. In his letter to the Vatican in November, 2008, he expressed that he could not recant his belief in women’s ordination. Fr. Bourgeois also wrote to his fellow priests , calling priests everywhere to Break the Silence and address the issue of women’s ordination in homilies, and meetings with the bishops: "
While Roy Bourgeois received a canonical warning to not participate in future ordinations, the Maryknoll community had agreed to opening further conversations on matters social justice issues, including the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church.
Since then, Fr. Roy has continued to advocate for women’s ordination, once again calling on the Maryknoll community in May 2010 to address this issue.
On March 29, 2011, Fr. Roy Bourgeois received a canonical warning from the leadership of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Fr. Roy has been given fifteen days to recant his belief that women, along with men, are called by God to serve as Roman Catholic priests. Failure to recant during thistime period will result in a second canonical warning from his superiors, whereupon, Maryknoll leadership will submit their charge for dismissal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with a request for laicization.
On July 27, 2011, Rev. Edward Dougherty and the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers issued Fr. Roy’s Second Canonical Warning for the "grave scandal" of continuing to speak publicly for the ordination of women. Fr. Roy faces dismissal from his order and priesthood if he does not recant his beliefs in women’s ordination. Fr. Roy stands firm in his conscience and refuses to recant : "What you are asking me to do in your letter is not possible without betraying my conscience. In essence, you are telling me to lie and say I do not believe that God calls both men and women to the priesthood. This I cannot do, therefore I will not recant."
Order Dismisses a Priest Trying to Ordain Women (NYTimes, August 8, 2011)
Fr. Roy Responds, Stands firm in His Conscience (August 8, 2011)
Father Roy Bourgeois’ Response to the Vatican (Nov. 2008)
Sr. Joan Chittister’s keynote speech at the First Women’s Ordination Worldwide conference in Dublin, Ireland 2001 (Sr. Chittister’s Order supported her after the Vatican’s instruction to not speak at the Conference)
Dec. 15, 2008: National Catholic Reporter: In-between is a dangerous place to be by Joan Chittister, OSB
Dec. 12, 2008: The Indypendent: Female Priests Altar the Rules
Nov. 22, 2008: National Catholic Reporter: Focus is on Bourgeois as SOA weekend opens
Nov. 20, 2008: Huffington Post: Voices Carry — Lay Catholics, Priests Challenge Bishops on Abortion, Ordination by Angela Bonavoglia
Nov. 19, 2008: Beliefnet: Church threatens to excommunicate Father Roy Bourgeois, Founder of the School of the Americas Watch by Rabbi Michael Lerner
Nov. 20, 2008: Democracy Now: Vatican Threatens to Excommunicate Catholic Priest for Supporting Ordination of Women into Priesthood
Nov. 14, 2008: New York Times: Catholic Priest Faces Excommunication
Nov. 13, 2008: Catholic News Service: Despite Vatican warning, Father Bourgeois firm on women’s ordination
Nov. 11, 2008: National Catholic Reporter: Roy Bourgeois threatened with Excommunication
Aug. 18, 2008: Update on Roy Bourgeois’ meeting with Superiors for participating in ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska. The Maryknoll community agreed to opening further conversations on matters social justice issues, including the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church.