Saturday, October 22, 2011

Celebrating Maryknoll

Maryknollers are committed to Catholic Social Teachings in the context of missionary work, and their goals are more to be in solidarity with the peoples of the developing world more so than to evangelize or convert them to the Christian faith. This year, the Maryknoll Order is celebrating its centennial anniversary as a formal Catholic religious group. Just last week, the Affiliates of New Orleans hosted a celebratory mass and reception at, of all places, St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Metairie, which happens to be where I went to grammar school. But I recently read in the newspapers about one Maryknoll Priest, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a nice man but a rabblerouser of sorts, who was arrested in Rome for engaging in an unlicensed protest. Apparently, he and a few others were delivering a petition to the Pope that is opposing and challenging the Catholic Church's policy of not ordaining women to the priesthood. While I share a certain sympathy for the cause, I just have to wonder at the timing of Fr. Bourgeois's behavior. It strikes me, in a way, as extremely selfish. At the very moment when his religious order is trying to celebrate its existence for 100 years, he is sucking attention away from the order onto his own personal crusade, one that has not only led to his excommunication, but also has placed his order in a very tough and painful position relative to the Vatican. At a moment when all Maryknollers should be celebrating, we are caught up in the divisive and painful vortex of Fr. Bourgeois's cause. Maybe this is as it should be, but it just strikes me as injudicious and improper. It certainly is being done without regard for the damage and pain that is being inflicted on the Maryknoll Order itself. I just can't understand why Fr. Bourgeois would want to do this to Maryknoll. I want to celebrate Maryknoll, not cause it grief.


Anonymous said...

Many who support Maryknoll and the wonderful work that all Maryknollers do agree with you. This priest is entitled to his views but not at a disservice to his order, which has supported him and has tried to open dialogue on his behalf within the Church.

Those who support him should realize that this is a matter between him and his Church and not between him and Maryknoll. They also need to dig below the surface and beyond this one issue to see the many other things that he has done over the last 40 years that have negatively affected others, including placing some lives in danger.

A comment re your site: in some instances liberism is patriotism, but remember so is conservatism. However, progressives and socialists have hi-jacked liberalism. It is not the same as it was when Kennedy's and Moynihan's led the Democrats. The current group is contributing to the destruction of the country from within.

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