Justice in the Church
A Million Voices
Fr. Roy Bourgeois: An Open Letter to Catholics

An Open Letter to Catholics - Boston Globe Ad, Sunday, March 2, 2014

An Open Letter to Catholics

Four months before Pope francis became pope,
I, after serving as a Catholic priest for 40 years, was expelled from the
priesthood because of my public support for the ordination of women .
I am among the many in the Catholic Church who have been
inspired by Pope Francis' humility, love, and compassion..

Our beloved pope has said, "I see the Church as a field hospital after
a battle. The Church must heal the wounds." Therefore, I respectfully
ask that we tend to the many women and gay people in our Church
who have been seriously wounded by Church teachings that demean
and discriminate against them.

1. Women in the Church: Our Church teaches that men and
women are created equal. Catholic priests say that the call to be a
priest comes from God. However, devout Catholic women who believe
God is calling them to be priests are rejected because oftheir gender.
How can men say that their call from God is authentic, but God's call
to women is not? Let's face it. The problem is not with God or
women, but with an all-male clerical culture that views women as
lesser than men.

2. Gays in the Church: In answering a question about
persons who are gay, Pope Francis said, "Who am I to judge?" While
we are grateful that the Pope does not judge people for being gay, our
Church certainly does. The official teaching of the Catholic Church
states that homosexuals are "objectively disordered." For millions of
gay people, this teaching instills shame and self-hatred. It has
contributed to gay people being expelled from their families, fired
from their jobs, and even killed. The teaching has contributed to
suicides, too, especially among teenagers. Let's face it. Being gay is
not a problem with our all-loving God who created everyone of equal
worth and dignity. The problem is with Church leaders who view
homosexuals as lesser than heterosexuals.

When there is injustice, silence is complicity.
As Catholics, let us stop making God our partner in discriminating
against women and gay people. I ask that you contact Pope Francis
and your local bishop and priests. Request that our Catholic Church
ordain women, accept LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender)
people as equals, and recognize gay marriage.

In Solidarity,

Fr. Roy Bourgeois and friends
P.O. Box 3330
Columbus, GA 31903
for more information, read My Journey from Silence to Solidarity,
available at www.amazon.com and www.roybourgeoisjourney.org





Roy Bourgeious letter