NCRep on the imminent excommunication of heretic Fr. Bourgeois

From the ultra-lefty promoter of dissenters the National Catholic Reporter we find this unedifying mess.  Sometimes its seems that the lives of others serve mainly as a warning to the rest of us.

My emphases and comments.

Roy Bourgeois threatened with excommunication  [I am tempted simply to cite the Nike motto… but…]

By NCR Staff
November 11, 2008

Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been threatened with excommunication by the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for his support of women’s ordination, according to a letter made public today.  [He has defied something definitively taught by the Church and done so publicly.]

The letter was written by Bourgeois and addressed to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. It was distributed via e-mail by Bill Quigley, a New Orleans lawyer who represents Bourgeois. [So, B. has decided to drag it all out into the public eye.  Okay!]

According to Bourgeois’ letter, which is dated Nov. 7, the congregation has given him 30 days to recant his “belief and public statements that support the ordination of women in our Church, or (he) will be excommunicated.”  [Anyone wanna give odds?]

The letter indicates that Bourgeois received notification from the congregation Oct. 21.

Bourgeois, a priest for 36 years, attended the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska in Lexingon, Ky., Aug. 9 and preached a homily[Attending is one thing.  Preaching is another.]

If Bourgeois is excommunicated at the end of 30 days, it would come just before the mass rally and protest against the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga.,  [yawn] that Bourgeois has organized for 19 years. In recent years, more than 15,000 people, many of them Catholic university students, have joined the three daylong rally and demonstration.

Bourgeois was not immediately available for comment. The text of Bourgeois’ letter follows.


Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903
November 7, 2008


I was very saddened by your letter dated October 21, 2008, giving me 30 days to recant my belief and public statements that support the ordination of women in our Church, or I will be excommunicated.

I have been a Catholic priest for 36 years and have a deep love for my Church and ministry.  [But, Roy, that doesn’t really make any difference when you have been a public heretic who won’t be corrected.  It is perhaps because you have been a priest for a long time that the CDF has given you 30 days rather than 10 or 3.]

When I was a young man in the military, I felt God was calling me to the priesthood. I entered Maryknoll and was ordained in 1972.

Over the years I have met a number of women in our Church who, like me, feel called by God to the priesthood. You, our Church leaders at the Vatican, tell us that women cannot be ordained.

With all due respect, [Watch this: he corrects the CDF] I believe our Catholic Church’s teaching on this issue is wrong and does not stand up to scrutiny. [Now he instructs the CDF, in case they forgot about this stuff.  But wait… he is really grandstanding … so never mind.] A 1976 report by the Pontifical Biblical Commission supports the research of Scripture scholars, canon lawyers and many faithful Catholics who have studied and pondered the Scriptures and have concluded that there is no justification in the Bible for excluding women from the priesthood.

As people of faith, [Used somewhat equivocally?] we profess that the invitation to the ministry of priesthood comes from God. We profess that God is the Source of life and created men and women of equal stature and dignity. [But clearly not with equal roles: cf. Genesis.] The current [current] Catholic Church doctrine on the ordination of women implies our loving and all-powerful God, Creator of heaven and earth, somehow cannot empower a woman to be a priest[Lousy theology.  The Church’s teaching does not imply any such thing.  God cannot be limited.  What he ignores is that God didin’t will to call women to the priesthood.  This is what Holy Church tells us.]

Women in our Church are telling us that God is calling them to the priesthood. [So what?  They are deluded.]  Who are we, as men, to say to women, “Our call is valid, but yours is not.” Who are we to tamper with God’s call?

Sexism, like racism, is a sin. [No… uh uh… I’m sorry.  Don’t give this guy 30 days.  Would that we could excomm’ guys like this for being thick.] And no matter how hard or how long we may try to justify discrimination, in the end, it is always immoral.

Hundreds of Catholic churches in the U.S. are closing because of a shortage of priests. [There could be no priests anywhere.  We still couldn’t ordain a woman.]  Yet there are hundreds of committed and prophetic women telling us that God is calling them to serve our Church as priests[THEY say so, after all.]

If we are to have a vibrant, healthy Church rooted in the teachings of our Savior, [What I find so offensive about this is the way he instrumentalized the Savior for the sake of weasely manipulation.] we need the faith, wisdom, experience, compassion and courage of women in the priesthood.

[NEWS FLASH….] Conscience is very sacred. Conscience gives us a sense of right and wrong and urges us to do the right thing. Conscience is what compelled Franz Jagerstatter, a humble Austrian farmer, husband and father of four young children, to refuse to join Hitler’s army, which led to his execution. [Can you believe this guy?] Conscience is what compelled Rosa Parks to say she could no longer sit in the back of the bus. [He is painting himself as a martyr and a prophet.] Conscience is what compels women in our Church to say they cannot be silent and deny their call from God to the priesthood. Conscience is what compelled my dear mother and father, now 95, to always strive to do the right things as faithful Catholics raising four children. And after much prayer, reflection and discernment, it is my conscience that compels me to do the right thing. I cannot recant my belief and public statements that support the ordination of women in our Church[Okay.  Then GET. OUT.]

Working and struggling for peace and justice are an integral part of our faith. For this reason, I speak out against the war in Iraq. And for the last eighteen years, I have been speaking out against the atrocities and suffering caused by the School of the Americas (SOA). Eight years ago, while in Rome for a conference on peace and justice, I was invited to speak about the SOA on Vatican Radio. [Yah… that tells us a lot about Vatican Radio back then too.] During the interview, I stated that I could not address the injustice of the SOA and remain silent about injustice in my Church. I ended the interview by saying, “There will never be justice in the Catholic Church until women can be ordained.” I remain committed to this belief today.

Having an all male clergy implies that men are worthy [Stupid.  No one is worthy.] to be Catholic priests, but women are not.

According to USA TODAY [Another great source.] (Feb. 28, 2008) in the United States alone, nearly 5,000 Catholic priests have sexually abused more than 12,000 children. [What a slime this guy is.]  Many bishops, aware of the abuse, remained silent. [So?  That can’t justify another wrong, attempting to ordain a woman.] These priests and bishops were not excommunicated. Yet the women in our Church who are called by God and are ordained to serve God’s people, and the priests and bishops who support them, are excommunicated.

Silence is the voice of complicity. Therefore, I call on all Catholics, fellow priests, bishops, Pope Benedict XVI and all Church leaders at the Vatican, to speak loudly on this grave injustice of excluding women from the priesthood.

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was assassinated because of his defense of the oppressed. He said, “Let those who have a voice, speak out for the voiceless.”

Our loving God has given us a voice. Let us speak clearly and boldly and walk in solidarity as Jesus would, with the women in our Church who are being called by God to the priesthood.

In Peace and Justice,
Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903



Sure… we have to pray for this deluded soul.  That is all very pious and proper.

But at a certain point we have to say:

Roy…. GET. OUT. NOW.

There is a church ready made for you and your friends.

Go join the Anglicans.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Michael says:

    There does not seem to be the need for an ecclesial trial as this letter constitutes and admission of guilt to the charge of formal heresy.

  2. Jack says:

    The only thing he seems to be right about in this whole convoluted diatribe is that none of the sexual deviants or their facilitators were excommunicated. A sad & sinful state of affairs but beside the point for this argument. This guy isn’t just missing the boat, he’s missed the whole fleet. Many, many roasaries are needed here.

  3. TAAD says:

    I have never heard Father Bourgeois speak out in defense of those who have no
    voice, and no justice, the unborn. Why is it these great defenders of justice
    never work for justice for the babies who are going to be murdered? Why do not
    these women who want to be ordained, never speak out against abortion? The
    Pro-life movement is always slammed for never doing enough to end the war,
    stop the death penalty, we care more for babies and not women, and on and on.
    Yet you never hear any go after the liberals for their lack of the ‘seamless
    garment” ethic.

  4. Vincenzo says:

    Fr. Z: “[I am tempted simply to cite the Nike motto… but…]”

  5. David Andrew says:

    There are some really frightening prospects for an outcome to this lurking in the shadows. Somebody will hopefully set my fears aside, but I fear that:

    1) This will soon make its way into the civil courts or worse the criminal courts as “hate speech” (similar to the priest in Canada tried and convicted of “hate speech” for speaking in defense of marriage between an man and a woman;

    2) The Vatican will be hauled up before the world court for it;

    3) This will just throw more fat on the fire of persecution of orthodox Catholics.

  6. Alan says:

    What a waste of 36 years.

    Does this mean a real excommunication… like a ceremony where you are formally seperated…. or one of those weak self-imposed ones that dont seem to send a message to others.
    I think there is a serious back order on excommunications that need to be filled.

  7. W. Schrift says:

    “Many faithful Catholics who have studied and pondered the Scriptures and have concluded that there is no justification in the Bible for excluding women from the priesthood.”

    This is ridiculous. First, as though there were justification for the idea! Moreso, as though Tradition were not a part of the sacred deposit of our faith. Trying to make a stool stand on one leg is the nature of heresy.

  8. Tom says:

    The guy sounds a bit of a bourgeoisie to me! Let’s pray he has the humilty to recant.

  9. Jordanes says:

    Oh brother. Is Father Bourgeois really trying to pull a “Hier ich stande”? May Our Lord have mercy on him.

    I have to say, though, based on my own experience with Maryknoll, I’m not at all surprised Father Bourgeois is a Maryknoll priest. I’ve been to a few of those “School of the Americas” protests, and was definitely weirded out each time. The protesters look, talk, sing, and act like they think it’s still 1968. I was especially alarmed by the pagan Goddess prayer that some of the allegedly Catholic Sisters (not Maryknollers, I don’t think, but I forget which order they were) prayed at one of their protests, and I found that those Sisters have even vandalised the Our Father and refuse to refer to God with masculine pronouns during Mass. It made perfect sense that neopagan “Catholic” Sisters would make a big deal about Fort Benning but not say anything about abortion, since paganism and abortion go together hand in glove.

  10. Howard says:

    Fr. Z,

    You want to be like Mike?

    Yeah, I guess St. Michael the Archangel could scare him straight!

  11. A Random Friar says:

    This is sad, but I also don’t have a lot of sympathy, since Father has written this letter obviously for public consumption and not just Rome. However, as Fr. Z. has highlighted, this letter could be used for a basic logic class on logical fallacies.

  12. mariadevotee says:

    I think this guy is long past his “sell by” date.

  13. mao now says:

    He (Father Bourgeoise) is A native of louisiana. The community he was born and raised in, Is A small idyllic place on the banks of the mississippi river, several miles above New orleans. To think this little place could produce such A man, let alone priest. Yes the Anglican/Episcopalians “church” would be A good home for him.

  14. Ken says:

    There’s a petition going around to support this heretic. I saw a young acquaintance promoting the petition on Facebook. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. This same friend was attending the CTA conference. Poor young misguided souls. Don’t they realize that this ship sailed back in the 1500’s?

  15. My dearly departed spiritual director was a Maryknoll, retired. He was pretty ashamed of the order from what I gathered. Once I received a Maryknoll booklet in the mail and found an article by a heretic in it. I immediately call Fr. O and told him. He was very upset and angrily said, “Let me call them.” He did but I don’t know what good it did. He dreamed of being a Carthsian

  16. shadrach says:

    Fr Bourgeois is obviously unwell.

  17. Rancher says:

    Oh, and Roy, get out quick enough so that the door doesn’t hit you in the butt as you leave

  18. Megan says:

    May the Lord have mercy on his soul. Many prayers are needed.

  19. Paul Madrid says:

    Alan: definitely an imposed excommunication. Notice, he has not committed the offense of heresy (i.e. obstinate denial or doubt of de fide credenda) but instead the offense proscribed in Canon 1371 no. 1 (teaching a doctrine condemned by the Pope or an ecumenical council or obstinately rejecting de fide tenenda). The penalty for violating 1371 is a “just penalty,” which includes ferendae sententiae excommunication.

    Also, that’s why the CDF says “or you will be excommunicated.” i.e. they have to impose it. If it were heresy, he’d already be excommunicated and all they’d have to do would be to declare it. In order to validly impose the excommunication, the CDF has to give him “at least one warning” and “suitable time” to purge the contempt before they can impose the sentence. Canon 1347 § 1. Thus the 30 days.

  20. Matt Q says:

    Comment by Alan:

    What a waste of 36 years.

    Does this mean a real excommunication… like a ceremony where you are formally separated… or one of those weak self-imposed ones that don’t seem to send a message to others. I think there is a serious back order on Excommunications that need to be filled.


    In this case, Alan, I think it’s one of those circumstances where the Church is merely informing the heretic of what has de facto already occurred. It’s sad though that those in these situations persist in their pride and more than likely will continue to Receive most unworthily and thus further eat and drink their own condemnation.

    This is pretty much like Biden, Pelosi and all other idiot Catholics who carry on this way about abortion and vote for someone who adamantly desires to make it so absolutely concrete.


    Fr Bourgeois is obviously unwell.
    Comment by shadrach


    Yes, more unfortunately for him, his spiritual unwellness.

  21. The other David says:

    “Many faithful Catholics who have studied and pondered the Scriptures and have concluded that there is no justification in the Bible for excluding women from the priesthood.”


    I believe this is what is called the “Argument from Silence” fallacy, that silence on a subject is proof of one’s position because it does not explicitly say the opposite. We know Jesus did choose men as His Twelve. Essentially Fr. Bourgeois is insisting his point be disproved rather than he proving his own.

  22. Rancher says:

    David Andrew
    I pray that none of the things you mention actually happen. But I would not be surprised if one or more do. Part of the orchestrated persecution of the Catholic Church which is coming in this country is to make teaching and living our faith a criminal offense. And the gameplan is to make them violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act sections 1983 and 1984 so they can hammer us criminally and with civil, monetary penalties.

    Rather than some of the feel good stuff the Bishops are wasting their time on this week they ought to be talking about the real possibility of the things you mentioned.

  23. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Sorry Roy, this priest will not join in your protest. Fr. Z is correct- get out – now! No one is stopping you!

  24. Brian says:

    This guy is quite full of himself. He sets himself up to instruct the CDF and refers to his own silly Vatican radio interview as if it were some momentous turning point in the history of the Church. What a narcissist.

    It is encouraging to see the Church make a clear stand on this issue. I pray that Bishops do the same with politicians who vote in favor of legalized murder of unborn children.

  25. RichR says:

    Like it was done back in the day…………….

  26. David Osterloh says:

    “School of the Americas” protests, and was definitely weirded out each time. The protesters look, talk, sing, and act like they think it’s still 1968. I was especially alarmed by the pagan Goddess prayer that some of the allegedly Catholic Sisters

    Yeah no kidding Jordanes, some were Precious Blood sisters from my area, they are old ladies that are just so proud of their social consciousness, Hate any conservative and the US Army and we all know Bush Lied, but, no habit, and no new sisters either, they are dying out, hope more orthodox order takes over their relic chapel and shrine here, sad, very sad

  27. John Enright says:

    Great movie!

  28. J says:

    I think it’s important to mention that his lawyer is a Professor at a Jesuit university in New Orleans and teaches courses in Catholic social teaching.

  29. Kathleen says:

    Thank you, Father. Yesterday I received an e-mail asking that I write in support. It
    listed about four addresses. I replied to all recipients with a rebuttal,
    including some of the same points you made (though mine were not so well
    stated), and giving sources for Church teaching. This evening I e-mailed all
    those people again and suggested they look at your site.

  30. I am always sorry to see in print that Anglicanism has become intrinsically associated with gross heterodoxy but, frankly, the Church of Canterbury and all associated with it have done it to themselves. On behalf of all of us in the Traditional Anglican Communion who have fled this nonsense: we are ready and willing to swim the Tiber if only we can bring our Prayer Books with us.

  31. Steve says:

    Warning (in all charity): Be careful you don’t walk in solidarity to the pits of Hell for leading people astray. Oh yeah, It’s Christ’s Church, not yours or ours (cf. Mt 16:18). I’m sick of this horizontal hogwash. But Fr. Z, can’t we give him at least his thirty days, because I need to go buy some of those large beeswax candles so I can snuff them out at the appropriate time? Seriously, while we lift this priest up in prayer, and all who are trapped in the Devil’s snare, please pray for my complete conversion. Thanks.

  32. Warren says:

    1. When will people get it – the Church is not a democracy.

    2. Like Michael said, the evidence speaks for itself.

    3. I hope Fr. Bourgeois will some day come around.

    4. Pray that God will spare the Church the torments of those wolves who ravage the Body with their false doctrine and demands for the rest of us to conform to the spirit of the age. And, I pray that people will take the time to listen to the Magisterium and become more faithful to Christ and His Church.

  33. Michael says:

    Unfortunately, he has to be excommunicated. To put it simply: he is a failure-priest, and we have to pray for him. His letter is ridiculous, and shows that he has never managed to make the Catholic Faith his own.

    But what are they going to do with Cardinal Martini? If they do not excommunicate him, this kind of menace will keep happening; those misguided excommunicated women will never repent, and more will be misguided.

    By the way, Fr. Z., you shouldn’t have said that God “didn’t will” to call women to the priesthood. That is not what the Church teaches, although one may venture to infer it from what the Church does teach; i.e. that the Church has no authority to ordain women to the priesthood.

    This teaching is perfectly clear and proposed infallibly. Why making our own make-ups of it?

  34. Melody says:

    My only annoyance is that they are excommunicating people more over this issue than abortion. All these social justice types who try to justify abortion deserve it much faster.

  35. paul says:

    Many times what we would like to have or do even if we want something really really intensely- is in fact sinful. One of the effects of original sin is that our minds often are clouded- we don’t see the truth of things. The fact is the Majesterium has spoken very clearly about women’s “ordination”. If a Catholic doesn’t accept this- what they are in fact saying is Jesus Christ is not in control of His church.

  36. Michael says:

    Melody, good morning, we met in another blog or post. Those involved in abortion are excommunicated automatically.

    But it would be good if each bishop should announce it without mentioning names, once every month, and make clear that those involved commit sacrilege if they receive Communion.

  37. Brendan Downunder says:

    The poor man’s words betray pride and obstinacy – both sure hallmarks of the devil. Recant or go Father.

  38. Athelstane says:

    Sad. Pray for him.

  39. Maureen says:

    God did not will to call men to pregnancy. And somehow, men never do feel called to menstruate….

    Thus we see the divine wisdom of complementary roles for the sexes. :)

  40. Nick says:

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, have mercy on Father Roy, a sinner. Amen.

  41. I am thankful to God for the CDF being willing to take such a stand. This man has violated his oath, publicly and repeatedly, to be faithful to the apostolic and magisterial authority of the Church. That said, I pray this ends in his repentance for his errors…if not now, then before he enters eternity. I cannot rejoice in nor desire that a man in holy orders be sent to Hell, which was prepared for the devil and his angels…not man and especially not apostolic men (though I can only guess that there are more than a few there). Excommunication is the Church’s strongest medicine. Let us pray that the heart and mind of Father Roy Bourgeois are turned to Christ in a spirit of filial obedience: “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!”

    He might consider the writings of Sister Sarah Butler, who once believed as Father Roy did on this issue…but has since recanted based on her further research and now holds to the teachings of the Church.

    Evidently she was greatly influenced by the Servant of God, Pope John Paul the Great’s “Theology of the Body.”

    In ICXC,

    Fr. Deacon Daniel

  42. Will Fr. Bourgeois be Marching for Life in January to stand up for the unborn baby girls being slaughtered by abortion?

  43. Brian Walden says:

    Where is this guy’s bishop? Why didn’t he suspend him or send him off on a long-term “retreat” or something the day Fr. Bourgeois participated in the fake ordination? It’s good that the Vatican is taking action here, but we’re not going to get anywhere until our bishops start using their crosiers.

  44. Mike B. says:

    Yep, this guy should become an Anglican–he’d fit right in.

    Has he ever spoken out about the innocent unborn who have been slaughtered in the name of “choice”?


  45. Rick Stump says:

    I used to try to talk some sense into the folks that protest the School of the Americas (it is claimed that it is a secret training geound for oppression and terror. So secret that its curricula, students roster, and location are all open to the public!) and quickly ran afoul of Fr. B. There are credible stories, repeated with pride by his supporters, that he once ‘patrolled’ with Marxist rebels and that he was armed with an AK at the time. A real piece of work.

  46. John says:

    This phony and arrogant nonsense reminds me of the theologians at Xavier University (Cincinnati), who, while continually trashing Church teaching, constantly remind us how “sincere, faithful and committed” they are.

  47. Michael says:

    MIKE B. “this guy should become an Anglican—he’d fit right in.”

    Whatever we might think of the Anglicans’s Creed, we must not underestimate their intelligence.

  48. Austin says:

    Anglicans use the same creeds. They just have an infinite latitude in how they are to be interpreted. Adding to their present woes by wishing this joker on them verges on the uncharitable.

  49. Caritas says:

    What if he’s right?

  50. Jordanes says:

    If he’s right, then there’s no point in being Catholic at all, and no point in anybody being ordained, male or female — so even if he’s right, he’s wrong, and is wasting his time and energy on something that doesn’t matter anyway.

  51. joy says:


    Don’t worry, he’s not right.

  52. Jayna says:

    Why am I not surprised that he’s from Columbus, GA? (I live in Georgia, I can say these things authoritatively.)

  53. TerryC says:

    David Andrew
    To be a follower of Christ is to be persecuted. That is a fact that has been all too forgotten in the period of relative tolerance for Catholics in the United States. It is a period which will not last much longer I fear. There is a reason priest holes were built in England and that 1500 years before that Christians worshiped in the catacombs.
    “No servant is greater than his Master…”
    Soon we will not have to pick out the cafeteria Catholics. They will be the ones not in jail.

  54. Melody says:

    Michael: Good point.

  55. Aelric says:

    This may be a bit dated, but here is yet another “Act of Ignorance” by our wonderful secular media:

    Catholic Priest Who Ordained Woman Faces Ex-Communication

    (Associated Press) Friday, November 14, 2008

    as found on,2933,452164,00.html

    The article includes the ubiquitous confusions regarding penalties incurred latae sententiae and those which are imposed.

  56. John J. O'Sullivan says:

    Go join the Anglicans.

    Please don’t. You guys send all of your worst guys over to us. Two words: Matthew Fox. Please, please, consider the ELCA Lutherans or the Presbys. kthx.


    P.S. I listened to the entire recording of the “liturgy wars” that’s posted on your podcast. I don’t know why I did that. That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

  57. Michael says:

    JOHN J. O’Sullivan

    “You guys send all of your worst guys over to us.”

    Not all of us; see my reply to MIKE B., endorsed by a wonderful lady further down.

  58. JMM says:

    Mother Teresa once said something like this, there was only one person who was worthy to become a priest.(The Blessed Mother)and she did not become one. Why can’t people get the difference between equal dignity but different roles.

Comments are closed.