I`m back! After a week`s absence, from home and this blog, I`m ready to jump back into pondering about our Catholic church. In all honesty, I was running out of steam, and running out of inspiration. Then I clicked on to the latest news from National Catholic Reporter. Oh my…
I encourage all to read the news about Maryknoll priest, Roy Bourgeois, founder of the School of the Americas Watch and a life-long social justice activist. (Jamie L. Manson, as usual, does a superb job of showing the deeper meaning behind the story.) He is also a supporter of women`s ordination, and this has landed him in hot water with both the Vatican and his religious order. The Maryknolls are asking him to recant his support for women`s ordination or face expulsion and laicization. He is refusing to do so.
I’ve built a comfy spot on the fence with the issue of women`s ordination in the church. I`ve tried to explain my middle-of-the-road approach in a previous blog post . Fr. Roy`s predicament illustrates the consequences that befall those who challenge the teachings in our Church. Fr. Roy also personifies the courage of the prophet who is not afraid to seek the truth in careful theological study and prayerful pondering. And prophets learn to rise above the fear in order to speak the truth.
Suddenly that spot on the fence has lost its comfort. My carefully rationalized moderation feels an awful lot like apathy – not the kind that comes from indifference, but the kind that comes from fear.
Roy Bourgeois is taking the fall for a belief that is quietly shared by many Catholic women and men today – lay, vowed religious and ordained. It is the belief in the holey-ness of the logic used in upholding a male-only priesthood. It is the belief that Jesus Christ preached a new and radical gospel of inclusiveness with equality and dignity for all.
If it was an earlier time in our history, the fires would be stoked for yet another human barbecue in the town square. Happily, we no longer torture and kill those who question the teachings of the church. But those who speak out what many of us believe in the quiet of our hearts, continue to suffer the consequences.