3 thoughts on “Priest Threatened with Excommunication

  1. The supreme virtue in the Catholic priesthood is obedience. If a priest puts aside his conscience and follows the line he is safe. I speak from very bitter experience …

  2. If Bourgeois does not recant, it would be excommunicable- in the same way that Luther’s statements were excommunicable. When a priest teaches something contrary to the doctrine of the church, repeatedly, without admitting error- it is cause for excommunication. This is the same type of reason Luther was excommunicated. He taught contrary to what the Catholic Church taught. And he did not recant. Bourgeois participated in an illicit ordination and “taught” that it was as OK as a valid ordination. While the Church’s teaching on no ordination of women is not “infallible” because John Paul II was careful not to declare it so, further discussion of the issue was closed for the time being. And no ordination of women is a binding teaching, regardless of infallibility- just like Humanae Vitae.

    Shanley, on the other hand, never taught, as a priest, that pedophilia was in accordance with the Church. He certainly thought it was OK, but he never used his position as a priest to teach it. He did use his position as a priest to do it- a great sin. But we don’t excommunicate sinners. If we did, the pews would be empty.

  3. Shanley was a notorious public critic of Christian teaching–there are many years of complaints about him in the files of the Boston archdiocese. The archdiocese ignored them.

    Besides the documentary evidence to which I linked above, see also Maureen Orth’s articles in Vanity Fair and NCR.

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