I was alerted to this sad news.
For Immediate Release, November 12, 2008
Contact: Betsey Guest, 914-941-7636 x2219
Statement regarding Father Roy Bourgeois
The Maryknoll Society did receive a confidential communiqué from the Congregation for the
Doctrine of Faith, and forwarded the contents of that communiqué to Father Bourgeois. The
Society continues to respect the confidentiality of the communications between the Congregation
of the Doctrine of the Faith and Father Bourgeois.
The Society will abide by the decision of the Congregation. At the same time, we have an
obligation to ensure the canonical rights of our members, and we will fulfill that obligation.
I am sure that all good WDTPRSers will stop and say a prayer for Fr. Bourgeois. We pray for his conversion.
Fr. Bourgeois has been excommunicated
A reader sent me this:
Dear Ms. ____,
As stated in an earlier communiqué from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome, Father Bourgeois was given 30 days to recant his actions regarding the ordination of women as priests, or endure the penalty of excommunication. Since he has said he cannot recant those actions, he has been excommunicated by the CDF.
UPDATE 19:31 GMT:
I was sent this:
I just talked with Betsey Guest. She indicated that the expectation is that Father Roy has been excommunicated as of the 30-day deadline. But they are awaiting official word from Rome. It may be awhile because the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Levada, is recovering from back surgery in San Francisco.
UPDATE 19:38 GMT:
From the National Catholic Register:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:09 PM
Tom Hoopes here. I just got off the phone with Betsey Guest, spokeswoman for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in New York, to ask about the reported excommunication of one of their priests for participating in an attempt to ordain women. Here’s the raw interview:
Does Maryknoll consider Father Roy Bourgeois to be excommunicated?
“We believe that he has been excommunicated. This was done by the CDF, not by us.” [Well of course not by them! For pity's sake. They can't excommunicate anyone.]
As of today, Dec. 10?
Have you heard from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about it?
“There has been no direct communication from the CDF regarding that.”
Then why do you consider him excommunicated?
“Because he was given 30 days to recant his actions, and he had responded saying that he could not recant those actions, he has been excommunicated at the end of that” period of time.
Is there usually a communication like these?
She said she had no idea, but reiterated that Maryknoll leaders “have not received any formal notification to that effect and are in fact awaiting a response from the CDF to Father Bourgeois’s letter sent Nov. 13”
Is he still a Maryknoll?
“He’s still a member, but possibly open to possible further penalty. We don’t know whether that will take place or not. We have not had official word.”
So, any further penalty would be in the hands of the CDF and not the Maryknolls?
“We are awaiting their response.”
He can be excommunicated and still be a Maryknoll?
“He is still a Catholic.” Many people misunderstand what excommunication means, she said. “He is just prohibited from receiving or administering the sacraments.
Does the order regret the stance Father Bourgeois took on women’s ordination?
“We’re very saddened. The fathers and brothers are very saddened by the course of the events that have taken. He’s been a member of the family for 63 years. They give him their love and pastoral response.”
Yes, but does the order regret his stance on women’s ordination.
“We are saddened by the whole circumstance.” [So are we all... but "circumstance"?]
Does Maryknoll have a stance on women’s ordination?
“Maryknoll has no official stance by the order” [?]
Either for or against?
“We have no official stance. The order follows the rules and regulations of the Catholic Church.” [And the teaching?]
How is Father Bourgeois taking the news?
“He does not live here at headquarters. His work is quite separate.”
Have you spoken to him personally?
“I have not.”
Where is he now?
“He lives outside Fort Benning, Ga. The School of the Americas Watch is his ministry. Peace and Justice work is his ministry. He speaks around the country on many issues of peace.”
How will this affect that work?
“It remains to be seen. This is all so new.” [Well... brewing for a long time, I think.]
— Tom Hoopes