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Order dismisses priest for supporting ordination of women


Summary of story from New York Times, August 8, 2011

An American preacher who refused to renounce his campaign for women to be ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic church has been dismissed.

The letter sent to the Reverend Roy Bourgeois, of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, said it was because of his “defiant stance” in opposition to church teaching.

The letter said: “Your numerous public statements and appearances in support of the women’s priests movement continues to create in the minds of many faithful the view that your position is acceptable to our Church.”

Father Bourgeois has gone further than any priest in good standing to publicly support the growing women’s ordination movement.

The group Roman Catholic Womenpriests claims to have ordained 120 women priests and 10 women bishops in the last few years.  Father Bourgeois participated in one of these ceremonies, which the Vatican regards as invalid in 2008

The case now moves to the Vatican for his formal removal from the priesthood.

More than 200 priests have signed a petition to the Maryknolls saying they supported his right to follow his conscience.

Father Bourgeois said: “They want two words: I recant. And they can’t get that out of me.  For me the real scandal in the message we are sending to women: you’re not equal, you cannot be priests, you’re not worthy.”

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