Monday, August 8, 2011

A medieval doctrine is being challenged

Your first reaction to the following letter from my friend Bill might be, "if you don't like the club rules, find another club." But if we applied that to government, there would be no revolutions. So, with that in mind, I thought you might be interested in what revolutionaries are doing in other "clubs." Feel free to take action, if you're so inclined.

From: Bill Quigley, Attorney for Father Roy Bourgeois,
7214 St. Charles Avenue, Campus Box 902, New Orleans, LA 70118

August 8, 2011

Dear Friends:

Our brother, Father Roy Bourgeois, needs your immediate solidarity. The Maryknoll community has taken another step towards expulsion of Father Roy for speaking out in favor of the ordination of women priests. Father Roy has said that, as a matter of conscience, he must speak out against the exclusion of women from the priesthood both because it defies faith and reason and because the exclusion is rooted in sexism. Despite the threats to expel him, Father Roy refuses to recant.

It is time for people of good will to take action. Please contact Father Ed Dougherty, the Superior General of Maryknoll, and ask him not to expel Father Roy Bourgeois for advocating for women priests. Here is how to contact Father Dougherty:

Father Edward Dougherty
Maryknoll Fathers
PO Box 303
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0303
Fax: 914.944.3600 or Phone: 914.941.7590

I am one of the lawyers on the team working with Father Roy. Below is a link to the letter Father Roy recently received from Maryknoll. It is the official second and perhaps final notice threatening to immediately expel him from the community.

Below is a link to Father Roy’s response to Maryknoll. You can read it and see where he stands. His letter is a simple direct invitation to dialogue about inclusion of women in the priesthood and a call for the protection of conscience – key foundation principles in any institution which respects human dignity. Contrast his letter with one from Maryknoll and judge which best reflects the spirit of hope, justice, respect and love.

Father Roy's Letter to Maryknoll:

Maryknoll Letter to Father Roy:

Father Roy has been a priest for 39 years and a member of Maryknoll for 44 years. We cannot allow Maryknoll, pushed hard no doubt by fundamentalist forces of the institutional church in Rome, to silence a prophetic voice of conscience and justice. Galileo was silenced by the church in 1633 for saying the earth revolves around the sun and they did not admit their error and apologize until 360 years later in 1992. Truth and justice cannot be expected to wait that long. Hundreds of priests already publicly support Father Roy’s right to speak his conscience. Thousands more women and men across the world support this issue and Father Roy as well. Maryknoll cannot and should not be party to a modern day silencing.

Thank you for your action and solidarity. Please send me a copy of what you send Maryknoll and I will make sure Father Roy knows of your support.

Peace and justice,

Bill Quigley

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

American corporations have set new profit records over the past three months!

After months of record profits, corporations are doing even better!!! Meanwhile, they are planning major layoffs over the summer. So much for the theory that job creators hire more when they have more money to spend.


At 4:15 pm on August 1st 2011, the 22nd Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba successfully crossed back into the U.S., completing the “reverse challenge” border crossing. Although the Friendshipment is a year-round project, this border crossing wraps up this year's caravan. In the last month, the caravan traveled on 13 routes across the U.S. and Canada, where they stopped in 130 cities, collected 100 tons of humanitarian aid for Cuba, gathered 108 participants, challenged the blockade at the U.S./Mexico border, spent nine days experiencing Cuba, and now have returned successfully into the U.S.

This last challenge of the caravan was carried out to enthusiastic chants of “Cuba si, bloqueo no!”, “Cuba is not our enemy” and “Lucius Walker vive, la lucha sigue, sigue!” while banners read “Love is our License” and “We don't want to imagine a world without Cuba!” Immigration officials tried to question caravanistas about their stay in Cuba; caravanistas exercised their constitutional rights and politely but firmly refused to answer their questions. After the crossing was completed, the seven computers which were seized by U.S. officials when the caravan crossed from the U.S. into Mexico were returned, and a group of caravanistas promptly walked them back across the border into Mexico, from where they will be shipped to Cuba.

While in Cuba, caravan participants were able to see the island for themselves through an exciting educational and cultural program. This year's caravan was dedicated to celebrating and honoring the achievements of Cuba's young people, and the program of the Caravan in Cuba highlighted their daily lives and experiences, as well as visits to organic gardens, health centers, urban and rural communities and schools.

“Our late founder, Rev. Lucius Walker, always said that U.S. foreign policy is much too important to be left in the hands of the State Department,” said Ellen Bernstein, acting co-director of IFCO. “With this project, we are enacting a 'people-to-people' foreign policy that is based in mutual respect and solidarity. We will continue reaching out to our Cuban sisters and brothers, without asking permission from the US government; and we will continue working to build the better world that we know is possible.”

IFCO acting co-director Rev. Thomas E. Smith affirmed, “Our caravans will continue with this challenge as long as the cruel and immoral blockade continues, and until the Cuban 5 political prisoners held in U.S. jails are freed!”

The Caravan to Cuba's reverse challenge coincides with two other Cuba travel challenges returning to the U.S. The Venceremos Brigade will be returning to the US on August 1st via Canada and another large travel challenge group will also be returning to Puerto Rico today.

This year's caravan was also a tribute to the life and spirit of Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr., the founding director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, who for 20 years gave prophetic and visionary leadership to our caravans to Cuba in defiance of the US blockade. Rev. Walker died peacefully in September 2010.

The Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan is a project of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), which has been working for racial, social, and economic justice since 1967.