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Social justice activist Father Roy Bourgeois to speak Nov. 1, 2

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Social justice activist Father Roy Bourgeois will visit Claremont Graduate University on Nov. 1-2 for a pair of events focusing on women's ordination and the Catholic church and his involvement in the School of the Americas Watch.

Father Roy BourgeoisThe talk on women's ordination and the Catholic Church, which includes a panel discussion, will be from 7 to 9 pm on Nov. 1 in Albrecht Auditorium, 925 N. Dartmouth Ave. Panelists include Rosemary Radford Ruether, visiting professor of religion; Jane Via of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests; and Gina Messina-Dysert, visiting assistant professor in the department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

Bourgeois' discussion on the struggle for social justice in Latin America and the School of the Americas Watch will be from 1 to 3 pm on Nov. 2, also in Albrecht Auditorium.

Bourgeois is a longtime peace activist and Maryknoll priest who has come under pressure from the church for his "defiant stance" in support of women's ordination.

He served as a Naval officer for two years before entering the seminary of the Maryknoll Missionary Order. Ordained a Catholic priest in 1972, he went on to work with the poor of Bolivia for five years.

He emerged as an outspoken critic of US foreign policy in Latin America in 1980 after four US churchwomen were raped and killed by Salvadoran soldiers. Since then, he has spent over four years in US federal prisons for nonviolent protests against the training of Latin American soldiers at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

He founded School of the Americas Watch in 1990. The organization advocates for the closure of the United States government's Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly known as the School of the Americas) at Ft. Benning.

Bourgeois' talks at CGU are free and open to the public.

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