Maryknoll priest receives canonical warning over role in ceremony

Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois has received a canonical warning from his order's leadership council because of his involvement in a reported ordination ceremony sponsored by Roman Catholic Womenpriests. The warning came during a four-hour meeting Aug. 18 between Father Bourgeois and Maryknoll Superior General Father John Sivalon and the two other members of the order's General Council in Maryknoll, N.Y. The meeting was called to discuss Father Bourgeois' role in what Roman Catholic Womenpriests considers the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska to the priesthood nine days earlier in Lexington, Ky. A canonical warning informs a person of a violation of church law. Any future violation of canon law could lead to additional penalties such as the opening of dismissal procedures or excommunication. "I have no intentions of participating in a similar ceremony in the future," Father Bourgeois told Catholic News Service Aug. 19. "The next step now is to move ahead." He expressed relief in receiving the warning and being allowed to continue his priesthood. In addition to the warning, both parties said in a statement that an investigation to learn "the true facts" of the 69-year-old priest's role in the Aug. 9 event has been concluded and that a report will be sent to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Both sides agreed to become more involved in "collective discernment over issues of justice, including the role of women in the church."