Sad week for feminist Catholics?

My first reaction to yesterday's news that Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois is being threatened with dismissal from his order was sadness. This man has given his life for others, and he has faced more than his fair share of persecution. Now the ultimate rejection: excommunication.

Then today the news about the U.S. bishops blasting Sister Elizabeth Johnson for her book on the Trinity.

They say bad news comes in threes. I'm afraid to check the NCR website.

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But then I remember how my friend Janine Denomme, who followed her call to ordination through the Roman Catholic Womanpriests organization, was excommunicated then denied a funeral in her home parish. Those rejections hurt, but she never let those who persecuted her win. They only have power, she said, if you give it to them.

My mom's comment when I forwarded the NCR's story about Father Roy was "A real priest!" The Vatican and Maryknoll can do what they want, but to so many of us, Father Roy will still be a priest. And Beth Johnson a prophetic theologian. We will read their work, join their causes and support them.

Sorry. You can't take that away from us.

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