“There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall…” Farewell, Roy Bourgeois!

From The Sound of Music:

There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say, “Cuckoo”
Regretfully they tell us but firmly they compel us
To say goodbye to you.


There will be much high dudgeon around the office water-cooler at the Fishwrap for a while.  Let the spittle-flecked nutty commence!

Sr. ... er ... Fr. ... um ... Mr. Bourgeois

From ChristianNewsWire:

MARYKNOLL, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on October 4, 2012, canonically dismissed Roy Bourgeois from the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, also known as the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. The decision dispenses the Maryknoll priest from his sacred bonds.

As a priest during 2008, Mr. Bourgeois participated in the invalid ordination of a woman and a simulated Mass in Lexington, Kentucky. [Of, I think, the Tambourine Priestess.  No? From a previous post about Roy and wymynpryst Janice:

“What do you want? Women priests. When do you want them? Now,” we shouted out. Roy turned to me and said, “Janice, we’re turning over the tables in the Vatican.” “Yes, Roy. We are,” I nodded, smiling.”

Soooo… How’s that table thing workin’ for ya now?] With patience, the Holy See and the Maryknoll Society have encouraged his reconciliation with the Catholic Church.

Instead, Mr. Bourgeois chose to campaign against the teachings of the Catholic Church in secular and non-Catholic venues. This was done without the permission of the local U.S. Catholic Bishops and while ignoring the sensitivities of the faithful across the country. Disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women’s ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and laicization. [!]

Mr. Bourgeois freely chose his views and actions, and all the members of the Maryknoll Society are saddened at the failure of reconciliation. With this parting, the Maryknoll Society warmly thanks Roy Bourgeois for his service to mission and all members wish him well in his personal life. In the spirit of equity and charity, Maryknoll will assist Mr. Bourgeois with this transition.

Again from The Sound of Music:


So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen
I’d like to stay and taste my first champagne
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye, goodbye

I’m glad to go, I cannot tell a lie
I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly
The sun has gone to bed and so must I.


I wonder if this will give Roy enough streetcred to wrest the Fishwrap’s next coveted Person Of The Year Award away from, say, Sr. Simone?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ghp95134 says:

    In this situation when a priest is laicized, does he receive a retirement pension; or, is this considered being fired with no recourse to pension, and he merely gets social security?


  2. acardnal says:

    The ‘fishwrap’ will probably offer him a job.

  3. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    “Janice, we’re turning over the tables in the Vatican.”
    Did he really say that? That’s really grown-up talk.

  4. catholicmidwest says:

    The Holy See normally loathes doing this sort of thing because these cases might cause more damage out of the Church than in it. But in some cases that’s moot.

  5. catholicmidwest says:

    excommunication, dismissal and laicization Yikes!

    About the pension, it depends on the rules at Maryknoll, which is where he was probably incardinated. He wasn’t a diocesan priest. As far as social security, it depends on whether he ever paid into the system or not. Not sure how that was arranged within Maryknoll. Maryknoll is a Society of Apostolic Life.

  6. dominic1955 says:

    One down, lots and lots to go.

  7. Sissy says:

    More; faster!!

  8. Bryan Boyle says:

    Good start in cleaning out the Augean Stables of the dissidents, fellow travelers, etc.

  9. Choirmaster says:

    frjim4321 said:

    “…the third rail of contemporary institutional Catholicism…”

    You’ve hit all the right talking points: (1) contemporary, (2) institutional, and for good measure (3) child-abusing priests. That pretty much stalls discussion, doesn’t it?

    I would argue that there is nothing “contemporary” about the teachings of an all-male priesthood. Are we to suppose that, in another, earlier time, there were woman priests? And that our definitions of the ordained priesthood have somehow changed or hardened since antiquity? No, the ontological characteristics of the priesthood have always been a consistent study and formulation since antiquity; hardly a “contemporary” political issue.

    Moreover, I don’t understand how it should follow that a child-abusing priest has made any offense uniquely against, or exclusive to, his priesthood. Indeed such a grave mortal sin is as diabolical for a layman like myself as it is for a priest. Simulation of the sacraments, on the other hand, is a grave offense against his priesthood and the Church, as such, and warrants laicization.

    My understanding is that laicization is not some kind of punishment for sinfulness or an instrument of purification for the priesthood. If that were so, no priest could keep his ministry, and we would be reliving ancient heresies long-since put to rest.

  10. Fr AJ says:

    The final line of the story makes it sound like Maryknoll will give him some sort of parting gift. My diocese does not have a vested pension program but priests who leave for one reason or another have gotten a one time cash settlement in lieu of a pension.

  11. catholicmidwest says:

    That’s entirely possible Fr AJ, particularly if he still has some supporters in Maryknoll, which he almost certainly does, or they would have taken care of this themselves long ago. This isn’t a diocesan priest, and religious orders have their own ways of dealing with these things, which are different from dioceses.

    I expect that he’ll be on the progressive speaking circuit for a long while too and there’s still some money to be made there if one is so inclined, and one doesn’t think there are consequences to that.

  12. Son of Trypho says:

    I have some sympathy for the fellow however much of it is washed away by the consideration that for decades orthodox priests/seminarians were effectively forced out of orders like the Maryknolls by these types (or their sympathizers). Fr Z can no doubt elaborate further.

  13. catholicmidwest says:

    Nyeh, Son of Trypho,
    I don’t have any sympathy. He’s been warned over and over, and he insisted on this outrageous stuff he’s constantly engaged in. He made it clear what he wanted. And he got it.

Comments are closed.