Roman Catholic Women Priests Statement of Support for Maryknoll Priest Roy Bourgeois
Media Release Roman Catholic Womenpriests USA Inc. and Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Contact: Barbara Zeman: 312-305-1053 firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzanne Theil: 503-784-3330
Janice Sevre-Duszynska: 859-689-4247 email@example.com
Bridget Mary Meehan: 703-505-0004, firstname.lastname@example.org
Roman Catholic Women Priests stand in solidarity with Fr. Roy Bourgeois. We challenge Maryknoll and the Vatican to support Fr. Roy’s prophetic stance rather than dismiss him from his order.
Edward M. Dougherty, the Superior General of the Maryknoll order has given Fr. Roy fifteen days to recant his public support of women’s ordination or face dismissal from the order and laicization, labeling support of his sisters in ministry as “contumacy” and accusing him of giving “grave scandal” to the Christian faithful. The behavior of the Maryknoll order and of Fr. Dougherty stand in stark contrast to the Erie Benedictine sisters and their superior, Sr. Christine Vladimirov, who stood behind Sr. Joan Chittister in 2002 when she was directed to refrain from speaking at the first worldwide conference held in support of women’s ordination. When threatened with penalties for disobeying the directive not to speak, Benedictines wrote to the Vatican saying that whatever punishment the Vatican meted out to Sr. Joan should be applied to all of the sisters. The Vatican backed down. It is time for all to speak truth to power! Roman Catholic Women Priests urge everyone of good will to stand with Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a true champion of justice for all. Regardless of personal consequences, he refuses to be cowed by men who support an unjust law that knowingly and persistently discriminates against half of the Body of Christ. He sees the face of Jesus in his sisters.
Roman Catholic Women Priests are at the forefront of a model of service that offers Catholics a renewed priestly ministry in vibrant, grassroots communities where all are equal and welcome. As we watch the closure of parishes in a scandal-ridden Church with a shortage of priests, we remain committed to model Jesus and the inclusive Gospel message. Our ordinations are valid because we are ordained in the line of apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church. We recognize and claim our right to full equality as members of the church who are entitled to all seven sacraments. The time for asking permission is over! We challenge and have broken Canon Law 1024. This unjust law discriminates against women. The continued refusal to recognize women's calls to priesthood is an issue of sexism, oppression and gender discrimination. The time for renewing our beloved Church is now! The voice of the Catholic people----the sensus fidelium---has spoken. Catholic people accept us as their priests and continue to support us as we grow from the seven bold women first ordained on the Danube River in 2002 to over 100 worldwide. Ordained women now minister in over 25 states. We are here to stay. We are not going away