Dennis Coday in NCR reports:

The church reform group that represents about a quarter of Ireland’s Catholic priests issued a statement of support Friday for Roy Bourgeois, the U.S. Maryknoll priest that the Vatican laicization and dismissed from his order because of his support of women’s ordination.

The Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland) called on the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “to cease this type of abuse, to restore Fr. Bourgeois to the full exercise of his ministry and to allow for open and honest discussion on issues that are of crucial importance for the future of the Church.”

“We believe that this type of action, ordered by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and implemented by the Maryknoll Order, is unjust, and ultimately counter-productive,” reads the statement from the association.

“Dismissing people because they have sincerely held views that are contrary to those of the Vatican, but which are widely shared by the Catholic faithful, will not end discussion and debate on these topics,” it says.

The Association of Catholic Priests, which was founded by eight priests two years ago, has grown to represent about 1,000 of Ireland’s some 4,000 priests. The association aims at the “full implementation of the vision and teaching of the Second Vatican Council” and a “re-structuring of the governing system of the Church,” according to the group’s constitution.


John Greenleaf responds: OK so where is the support from US priests?

10 thoughts on “Where is the support of US priests?

  1. U.S. priests are too worried about their promotions and pensions to speak out. They have seen how brutally the Vatican and the U.S. bishops react to anyone who steps out of line.

    1. PJ, I’m not sure if the promotions and pensions are the whole story. As I help out in parishes and institutions around the diocese I see that the priests are just too overwhelmed with trying to serve their parishes. They have only so much time and energy. As one priest told me, “If there are two sides to every question, our parish has all three of them, and they all demand their way”. We tend to focus on what us right in front of us clambering for our attention. Many problems facing the church as a whole may seem remote to an overworked and under appreciated pastor. We retired guys have the luxury of looking at the big picture and saying what we think needs to be said, and a number of us are doing it in various ways.

  2. The younger priests now are.sadly, being taught the old loyalty to Rome before all else.
    It is very sad. Watching the progress of the past 40 yrs disintegrating before my very eyes.

  3. We US priests [at AUSCP] are speaking among ourselves to try to find the most productive way of responding to Roy’s rejection by Rome. It is always easier to respond to a situation in another country than the one in your own backyard. The AUSCP leadership team is surveying our membership to listen to what is shaping up among us.
    The question is: how is Roy’s dismissal being understood? Some of us who have been involved with Roy or have been watching closely do not see it as an either/or, black and white issue that identifies Roy Bourgeois’ dismissal with women’s ordination. Polarizing the issue in such easy terms does not open many doors to understanding how we might begin talking about Baptism and the rights of women to holy orders.
    Do we begin to open the doors to dialogue with the bishops by breaking them down by force? Is that really helpful?

  4. Too many of our older Vatican II priests live under the threat of losing their pensions if they speak out. I’m sure the hierarchy would have no problem yanking those funds for any dissident priest.

  5. What about support from the bishops who don’t agree with the images some other bishops are generating? Omertà only goes so far. If these pastoral bishops, and there must be a few, choose to keep silent, they will continue to be lumped in with the image makers, and its on them. Silence breeds consent, not to act is to act, voluntarium in causa voluntarium in se (to choose a course of action is to choose the effects), etc.

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