Dear Dr. Ads,
So I’m minding my own business reading the Boston Sunday Globe when I come across this ad on page A6. (Blurry visuals compliments of the Globe.)
Really? Some Catholic priest in Columbus, GA has enough dough to buy a quarter-page ad in the Sunday (week’s most expensive) Globe? What’s the deal here, Doc?
First, some background.
From November, 2012 via Tom Roberts of the National Catholic Reporter:
Roy Bourgeois: They finally got him
Ah, they finally got him, as we all knew they probably would. Eventually. And with a press release it was done: Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest for 45 years, was told that the Vatican “dispenses” him “from his sacred bonds.”
And the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, caught in the culture that finds advocating for women’s ordination such a grievous and unpardonable offense, “warmly thanks” Roy “for his service to mission and all members wish him well in his personal life.”
And so it goes, as Vonnegut would say. So it goes.
Bourgeois’ case is a prime illustration of what, today, the institution can and can’t tolerate. Bourgeois’ major offense, the sin that is unforgiveable in the eyes of the church, for which penalty is removal from the order which he has served for nearly half a century and dismissal from the community, was advocating for women’s ordination.
And from a year ago, here’s the padre himself in a New York Times op-ed:
My Prayer: Let Women Be Priests
AFTER serving as a Roman Catholic priest for 40 years, I was expelled from the priesthood last November because of my public support for the ordination of women.
Catholic priests say that the call to be a priest comes from God. As a young priest, I began to ask myself and my fellow priests: “Who are we, as men, to say that our call from God is authentic, but God’s call to women is not?” Isn’t our all-powerful God, who created the cosmos, capable of empowering a woman to be a priest?
Let’s face it. The problem is not with God, but with an all-male clerical culture that views women as lesser than men. Though I am not optimistic, I pray that the newly elected Pope Francis will rethink this antiquated and unholy doctrine.
He’s also decided to pay, in the form of the Globe ad.
Why here? Why now?
The old Doc will try to find out. We didn’t find a way to contact him at his website, but we’ll track him down eventually and get back to you.