Researched by Ryan Larkin and Jennifer Donahue
The Vatican has threatened to excommunicate well-known Catholic priest and longtime peace advocate Father Roy Bourgeois unless he recants his support for the ordination of women into the priesthood. In August 2008, he took part in a ceremony to ordain a member of the group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests. He was informed in a letter dated October 31, 2008 that he would face the harshest form of ecclesiastical punishment—excommunication—unless he recanted within thirty days of notice. Bourgeois responded, “Over the years I have met a number of women in our Church who, like me, feel called by God to the priesthood… 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.” Bourgeois continued, “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 … I could not address the injustice of the SOA and remain silent about injustice in my Church.” Bourgeois has not recanted.
“Roy Bourgeois threatened with excommunication” National Catholic Reporter, 11/11/2008 http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/2545
“Vatican Threatens to Excommunicate Catholic Priest for Supporting Ordination of Women into Priesthood” Democracy Now, 11/20/2008