Monday, August 8, 2011

An Urgent Appeal From Prof. Bill Quigley: Our brother, Father Roy Bourgeois, needs your immediate solidarity!

From: Bill Quigley, Attorney for Father Roy Bourgeois, Quigley@loyno.edu

7214 St. Charles Avenue, Campus Box 902, New Orleans, LA 70118

August 8, 2011

Dear Friends:

Our brother, Father Roy Bourgeois, needs your immediate solidarity. The Maryknoll community has taken another step towards expulsion of Father Roy for speaking out in favor of the ordination of women priests. Father Roy has said that, as a matter of conscience, he must speak out against the exclusion of women from the priesthood both because it defies faith and reason and because the exclusion is rooted in sexism. Despite the threats to expel him, Father Roy refuses to recant.

It is time for people of good will to take action. Please contact Father Ed Dougherty, the Superior General of Maryknoll, and ask him not to expel Father Roy Bourgeois for advocating for women priests. Here is how to contact Father Dougherty:

Father Edward Dougherty

Maryknoll Fathers

PO Box 303

Maryknoll, NY 10545-0303

Fax: 914.944.3600 or Phone: 914.941.7590

Email: mklcouncil@maryknoll.org

I am one of the lawyers on the team working with Father Roy. Below is a link to the letter Father Roy recently received from Maryknoll. It is the official second and perhaps final notice threatening to immediately expel him from the community.

Below is a link to Father Roy’s response to Maryknoll. You can read it and see where he stands. His letter is a simple direct invitation to dialogue about inclusion of women in the priesthood and a call for the protection of conscience – key foundation principles in any institution which respects human dignity. Contrast his letter with one from Maryknoll and judge which best reflects the spirit of hope, justice, respect and love.

Father Roy's Letter to Maryknoll:

https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/727/images/FatherRoy.pdf

Maryknoll Letter to Father Roy:

https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/727/images/Maryknoll.pdf

Father Roy has been a priest for 39 years and a member of Maryknoll for 44 years. We cannot allow Maryknoll, pushed hard no doubt by fundamentalist forces of the institutional church in Rome, to silence a prophetic voice of conscience and justice. Galileo was silenced by the church in 1633 for saying the earth revolves around the sun and they did not admit their error and apologize until 360 years later in 1992. Truth and justice cannot be expected to wait that long. Hundreds of priests already publicly support Father Roy’s right to speak his conscience. Thousands more women and men across the world support this issue and Father Roy as well. Maryknoll cannot and should not be party to a modern day silencing.

Thank you for your action and solidarity. Please send me a copy of what you sent Maryknoll and I will make sure Father Roy knows of your support.

Peace and justice,

Bill Quigley

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See this PBS video documentary regarding Fr Roy Bourgeois and the School of the Assassins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhgBvG1SDzM

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