I finally got around to my weekly emptying of my snail-mailbox, only to find I, too, have received TWO letters (of six and five pages respectively), the first dated August 16, 2011 and the second August 21, outlining the defense of Fr. Roy Bourgeois, prepared and proposed by Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., M.A., M.Ch.A., C.A.D.C.
Gotta tell you, if those initials don't give you pause, the content of the documents will.
That being said, I am faced with a dilemma. My copy came with a brief note from Roy that I am to share it with the community. I presume it's our Maryknoll community. Also, Roy disseminated it with the knowledge and consent of his procurator-advocate.
The document itself is addressed to the superior general and the members of the General Council, who are at a distinct disadvantage here because they are loathe to move the upcoming canonical proceedings into the open venue of trial by social networking and public opinion.
That being said, as I mentioned earlier, several Maryknollers have already received a copy of the defense, so this is hardly a breach of client privilege let alone confidentiality. (Transparency can be a real bite in the butt.)
Ergo, I am willing to email a copy of Roy's defense to any Society member who requests it.
Till then, allow me to give you a very brief summary of the summary.
1) The ban on women's ordination is not infallible;
2) The ban on women's ordination is not part of the Deposit of Faith to which all Catholics must give assent;
3) The ban is not essential to the core of Catholicism, nor does questioning it amount to a rejection of the teachings of Christ;
4) Tradition notwithstanding, Christ did not ordain anyone to anything at the Last Supper.
5) No one has been gravely harmed by Roy's action to the point of physical or emotional, let alone spiritual damage.
6) None of the clerics or hierarchs involved in THE scandal of the century has been so punished.
In addition, Doyle emphasizes an illegitimate demand that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made on Roy to betray his conscience, as well as several irregularities by the CDF in communicating its penalties.
Man, would I love to witness this trial, as I am sure there will be an equally spirited prosecution.
Ah, but Canon Law has no place for Judge Judy.
Besides, as with the case against Fr.Bob Nugent and Sr.Jeanine Gramick 15 years ago, there is something decidedly Down the Rabbit Hole in the way the Vatican operates.
From "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", Chapter Twelve:
"'Let the jury consider their verdict,' the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'
'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. 'The idea of having the sentence first!'
'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.
'I won't!' said Alice.
'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved."