I detect in myself a touch of schadenfreude as I read of this new at the site of the Fishwrap, whose editors have pressed poor Roy to their collective bosom for so very long.
Bourgeois receives official Vatican letter dismissing him from priesthood
Roy Bourgeois, the longtime peace activist and Catholic priest dismissed by the Vatican because of his support for women’s ordination, [more than “support”] has received the official letter notifying him of the move three months after it was made.
The letter, which comes from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is signed by the congregation’s prefect on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI and states that the pope’s decision in the matter is “a supreme decision, not open to any appeal, without right to any recourse.”
Written in Latin, the letter dismisses Bourgeois from the priesthood and restricts him from all priestly ministries. It asks Bourgeois to return a signed copy “as a proof of reception and at the same time of acceptance of the same dismissal and dispensation.”
The letter, dated Oct. 4, was made available Wednesday by Bourgeois, who said he received it last week from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the U.S. missionary society he served as a priest for 40 years. Bourgeois said he did not plan to return a signed copy. [If he cannot be obedient in the greater, who expects that he would be obedient in the lesser.]
The congregation’s letter does not make reference to specific charges against Bourgeois or mention his support for women’s ordination, saying, “for the good of the Church, the dismissal from the said Society must be confirmed, and moreover, also the dismissal from the clerical state must be inflicted.”
“There’s no mention of what I did,” Bourgeois said. “There’s no mention … of women’s ordination. What crime did I commit that brought about this serious sentence? There’s no mention of that. What did I do? What am I being charged with?” [For pity’s sake, Roy.]
Bourgeois said he found the request to sign the letter “somewhat laughable” at first because he could not fully understand its contents until he obtained an English translation of the Latin from a translation service. [From a translation service?]
His signature, Bourgeois said, would indicate he accepts the letter’s contents.
“I do not accept it,” he said. “I think it’s a grave injustice. I think it’s mean-spirited. I think it contradicts whatever Jesus had talked about and taught us.” [His fidelity and Christology are on par. And by his disobedience and dismissal he has taken another step toward being completely irrelevant.]
The letter also asks Maryknoll to “exhort [Bourgeois] assiduously so that, once [his] proud behavior has been purified, [The Latin says “contumacia“, which indicates persistent, inflexible, defiance of proper authority. It is not “proud behavior”. He was exhorted by everyone under the sun and he would not obey.] he will participate in the life of the People of God in conformity to his new condition, will give edification and in this way will show himself a worthy son of the church.” [That would be a fine thing. No? At that point I would shake his hand. Also, the fact that Maryknoll (indeed in the Latin “Auctoritas ecclesiastica, cui spectat Decretum praefato notificare, hunc enixe hortetur…“) is asked to continue to work on him underscores the strong medicinal element of this move by the Holy See even though he has been dismissed from the obligations of the clerical state and from Maryknoll itself, even – so it seems – as a lay brother.]
Comparing women’s ordination to the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage, Bourgeois said “this movement of gender equality … is rooted in God, equality and justice. It’s not stoppable.” [ROFL!]
Neither is this decree from the Vicar of Christ, to whom Christ committed the power and authority to bind and loose.
Yes, I feel a little schadenfreude over this, but I feel more anger and grief. This confused man has brought all this onto himself. He has endangered his soul and caused scandal. He has endangered the souls of others, by his support. I sincerely hope that, over time, his dismissal from the clerical state will be medicinal.
In the meantime, to those wymyn out there who make the claim that “nothing prevents women from being ordained as deacons”, I say…
… just try it. See what happens next.