Father Roy Bourgeois: Women can be priests

In the midst of the School of America’s Watch push to cut funding, SOAW founder Father Roy Bourgeois is dealing with another issue: women’s ordination.

Bourgeois released a statement responding to the Maryknoll communities’ request that he recant his statement in support of the ordination of women. Instead of doing as requested, Bourgeois used the opportunity to write out the arguments of why they should change their mind.

Since news first came out that Bourgeois could be laicized over this issue, my question has been, what if he did recant?

Honestly, would anybody believe him if he said, “I’m sorry. I now see the errors of my ways. Women shouldn’t be priests”? Or would they simply shake their heads and say, “That’s what you have to do in the church today”?

“Thou shalt not lie,” we learn, and had Bourgeois’ recanted, I think most of us would think he was lying.

What affect will this have on the School of the Americas Watch and Catholic support for the cause? 

This announcement comes in the middle of his seven-day fast to close the School of the Americas (no doubt the timing offers publicity for the SOAW too). On Sunday the movement plans to  march to the White House on Sunday and lobby on Capitol Hill (or call in) on Monday.

As I argued on the anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero’s martyrdom, cutting the SOA is a budget cut I can get behind. But will Bourgeois' announcement further divide the Catholic Church from the social justice movement that many argue is now unsalvageable in its secular form?

About the author

Megan Sweas

Megan Sweas is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.