The Catholic Church still officially regards the inclusion of women as priests as an abomination on the same scale as sexual abuse. Fr. Roy Bourgeois has taken a fervent position against this gender inequality in the church, much to the chagrin of his church brethren, and is being excommunicated for it.
He joins us and puts the debate in context of human rights, and also shares his history of working against the notorious School of the Americas. Fr. Roy provides examples of how the battlegrounds have changed in the struggle to have autonomous governments in latin america that don’t employ US-trained death squads.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. After college he served in the Navy for four years. One year was spent on shore duty in Vietnam where he received the Purple Heart.
Following his time in the Navy, Fr. Roy was ordained a Catholic priest in 1972 and went to work in Bolivia for five years. He stayed until he was arrested and forced to leave the country. Following this Father Roy involved himself in US policy in El Salvador after four American churchwomen were raped and killed by El Salvadoran soldiers. This led him to become an outspoken critic of US foreign policy in Latin America. Since then, he has spent over four years in US federal prisons for non-violent protests against the training of Latin American soldiers at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
In 1990, Roy founded the School of Americas Watch, an office that does research on the US Army School of the Americas (SOA), now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Each year the school trains hundreds of soldiers from Latin America in combat skills – all paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Fr. Roy was the recipient of the 1997 Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Award and the 2005 Thomas Merton Award.