Sunday, September 4, 2011

Marxist Priest Faces Excommunication

[La Stampa] Father Roy Bourgeois is a senior cleric belonging to the Maryknoll Missionaries, founded in 1911 in the United States for missionary activities. He spent twenty years of his life in Latin America and returned with a conviction: to put an end to U.S. support of Latin American military torturers trained in Georgia at the "School of the Americas" military center. That was in the nineties. Now that there is democracy in Latin America, Father Roy is fighting to get the U.S. government to admit its past responsibility, release the lists of military personnel trained there, and close the center permanently.

Around his "School of the Americas Watch" (SOA-Watch), a humanitarian organization for human rights, a broad consensus has solidified, and the protest march which takes place every November in Fort Bennings, Georgia at the gates of the former military school sees hundreds of demonstrators from across the United States, including monks and nuns from many different congregations. Every now and then he speaks out on more than just humanitarian issues, and so his latest position in favor of women priests has earned him a formal complaint and the start of the process for expulsion from his missionary congregation and excommunication. Measures a bit drastic for a "crime of opinion" - as one would say if there was a court case - motivated by the wide popularity of the individual and the resonance of his statements.

On the figure of Father Bourgeois, in addition to the many articles that have been written, there are also a few books, of which I will indicate just one. The SOA-Watch center has its headquarters in Washington and certainly will survive the eventual ecclesiastical sanction against its founder.


Editorial from La Stampa....

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