Hardly a day passes that a phone call or a letter doesn’t bring tears to his eyes. “I never knew just how deeply women have been hurt by the church. And after hearing from so many women, I’m no longer comfortable being part of an institution that excludes them.”
Over and over again, they tell him of their struggles with faith, of the anguish of sexual abuse, of profound feelings of dejection. And of a rising anger.
“Women have such gifts, such compassion, such wisdom, which we need if the church is to be vibrant,” Bourgeois said. He believes it’s unconscionable for the hierarchy to reject their call, especially when churches are being closed and the number of priests is constantly shrinking.
Some — like a woman who wrote him about being sexually abused by a bishop — are livid that the church, while finding women unworthy for ordination, protects pedophile priests and never threatens to excommunicate them. MORE…