Father Roy Bourgeois, who was automatically excommunicated and faces removal from the priesthood for his support for women’s ordination, discussed his position with fellow Maryknoll priests Tuesday evening during an impromptu gathering at the opening day of the order’s U.S. regional assembly.
Well-known for his work on justice issues, Father Bourgeois explained how he came to see the church’s stance on the ordination of women as an injustice. Church teaching holds that ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood is reserved for men and that the church has no authority to ordain women.
The discussion is reported by Father Joe Veneroso, a veteran journalist, on the knollnews blog.
The detailed report quotes several priests, some of whom questioned why Father Bourgeois did not at least approach the order about his views before going public and a few who openly supported Father Bourgeois’ and his stance. One called for a frank discussion within the church on the topic.
While the discussion may not resolve the issue of Father Bourgeois’ likely dismissal, as outlined in a recent Catholic News Service report, it sheds some light on the tensions facing the missionary order that may very well spill over to the church at large at some point.