Pretty careless journalism, in this story about ... Mr? Fr? when a priest is suspended from his priestly ministry, and from presenting himself as a priest, is he also suspended from being addressed as "Reverend" or "Father"?... anyway, about Bourgeois.
Putting aside the question of whether his hopes coming to fruition is inevitable, ("poll numbers" are irrelevant... they writer ought to look into what the Zogby survey Arius commissioned proved,) while the writer says upfront that it is oddly difficult to say exactly what Bourgeois' current status as a priest in good standing in the Church is, he then goes on to make it clear that it's actually quite easy, unless you give any weight to someone who's opinion is beside the point. And then the writer uses some grammatical sleight of hand, to contribute to what seems deliberate obfuscation.
last year, Bourgeois got in trouble for promoting a very different cause. He took part in the priestly "ordination" of a woman - something that the Roman Catholic Church does not do, recognize or condone.Does the writer think the Vatican commissions a squadron of pike-bearing men in striped Baroque uniforms and magnificently feathered helmets to go forth and rip the roman collars from such men? or stand guard at every "communion station" in the world to bar the way of reception of the Sacrament?
Bourgeois' superiors at the Maryknoll headquarters in Ossining, forced to act, concluded that he broke church law (something he surely already knew) and forwarded their findings to the Vatican. Sure enough, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith informed Bourgeois in a letter that he had 30 days - until last Nov. 21 - to recant his support for the ordination of women....
Or he would be excommunicated.Bourgeois would not budge....it's his full-time job, his ministry, to work to close the military school, with the full support of Maryknoll....[emphasis supplied]...
Bourgeois told me that he has not heard from the Vatican since the fall. Not a note, an e-mail, nothing. So he is continuing to celebrate Mass...
Two months ago, Maryknoll's superior general, the Rev. Edward M. Dougherty, issued a statement saying that Bourgeois had been "automatically excommunicated" when he did not meet the Vatican's deadline to recant.
I contacted Maryknoll this week, and they were taken aback that Bourgeois disagrees.
"We are surprised and are saddened that his actions may present an obstacle in the path toward his reconciliation with Church authorities," a new statement said. "We are still hoping that he will reconsider his position and be reconciled with the Vatican, a hope that they also have expressed."
Seeking clarification, I faxed a note to the Vatican press office. No response so far.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would not touch this one....
Things move slowly in Rome, but Bourgeois' priestly days appear to be numbered. If he is excommunicated, he cannot administer the sacraments as a priest or receive them.[emphasis supplied]
Further, the writer should be disabused of the notion that he can get a response from the hierarchy of the Church to a question that is none of his business, about the sacramental status of anyone, (as Republican operatives masquerading as concerned Catholic learn every election season as they try to find out whether politicos they oppose have been granted decrees of nullity for a marriage.)
But my charge of careless journalism is on account of the contraction in the first passage in bold.
No, not the informality of the contraction -- the tense.
Bourgeois IS not working with the full support of Maryknoll -- it WAS his full-time job to minister there with the full support of Maryknoll.
His superiors quite specifically expressed surprise that Bourgeois denies that he has been excommunicated to the journalist, (or so he himself said.)
So he is a priest able to exercise his presbyteral functions the way I am a 2nd grader, entitled to a place in Mrs. Heatherington's class-room, and to two of those really good flower-shaped butter cookies with the hole in the middle so that you can wear them on your finger like a ring and eat the petals off one at a time every weekday at 1:05 in the afternoon.
All the obliviousness, or misrepresentation in the world will not make it so.