Every time I hear about another punishment meted out by the Vatican for acts of grace and courage I wonder what it will take for the Church universal to finally unite in opposition against the tyranny. Now it’s a 92-year-old Jesuit who is barred from priestly service for supporting a womanpriest. The Province of Jesuits “regrets” Brennan’s act. It chose the wrong act to regret. What will it take?
Inquisition, December 5
The Vatican takes ever bolder control of Catholic lives. The latest jaw-dropping move of this increasingly oppressive regime was to expel Roy Bourgeois from his Maryknoll community because he supports the priestly ordination of women. Bourgeois has been internationally acclaimed for his peace and human rights activities. The Maryknoll superior general from 2002 to 2008, Fr. John Sivalon, decried the Vatican’s order as meddling in Maryknoll affairs and interfering in the integrity of the society. How will Maryknollers around the world, both men and women, respond?
His courageous stand for women priests against the sexist stance of the Vatican continues this heroic action. No greater prophet or saint lives among Catholics today. And it is no surprise that the Vatican opposes such a person. Bourgeois acknowledges that many priests fear losing their jobs, pensions, and sacramental power if they speak out about the ordination of women. But, he said,He won a purple heart for his service in Vietnam.He lived and worked among the poor in Bolivia for five years.When his friends, Maryknoll sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, along with two other women, were raped and murdered in El Salvador, he became an outspoken opponent of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America.He has served nearly five years in federal prison for non-violent protests.
I’d rather eat at a soup kitchen and be free rather than not do something that I’m called to do.
In another NCR article, AnthonyRuff responds to the clumsy Mass translation imposed by the Vatican after refusing to accept a well-crafted one. He writes,NCR joins its voice with Roy Bourgeois and calls for the Catholic church to correct this unjust teaching.
My disgust with liturgical language centers on sexist God-talk, which reduces the Holy Source of All to a set of humanlike males. I was hoping that the linguists and other experts working for 17 years would come up with language that conveyed a truly exalted sense of the Divine. We never got to see the fruits of their work. Instead, the Vatican imposed words even more worshipful of male gods.When it comes to liturgy, Catholics are quite patient. Most Catholics have no reason to track the dirty politics behind the scenes of how the Vatican centralized and micromanaged the translation process beginning in 2001, threw away 17 years of transparent and collegial work on a very fine revised English translation, and botched the new missal by making some 10,000 mostly ill-advised changes at the last moment.
And when they're attending liturgy, most Catholics are probably also not tracking the convoluted and inelegant language of the new missal. . . . people's reduced attention to liturgical texts is a significant piece of why "it worked."The new missal has shown us how a secretive central authority, absent mechanisms of accountability, can impose its will.