EXPIRED: 07/05/10 – William Callahan, 78, was a Catholic priest who claimed to follow “the example of Jesus, who was never willing to shut up.”
His activism to try to get the Vatican to change their policy regarding the ordination of women, his ministry to gays and his work against the social injustices in Nicaragua led to him being expelled from the priesthood.
Callahan joined the Society of Jesus in 1948, studied physics (at the Jesuit’s request) at Boston College, and was an ordained a priest in 1965.
Prior to Pope John Paul’s visit to the USA in ‘79, Callahan tried to persuade fellow priests from helping the pope celebrate mass. His hopes were that this would create the need for women to participate in the services, thus paving the way to get them ordained.
Instead, it paved the way for getting Pope John Paul pissed.
When the Pope declared that the church’s opposing to the ordination of women was not a human rights issue, Callahan asked for clarification: was it not a human rights issue because women are not human or because they are human, but do not have rights?
The Pope got more pissed.
During this time Callahan, along with Dolly Pomerleau, founded the Quixote Center to benefit humanitarian aid in Nicaragua.
His challenges to the Church led to a slap on the wrist in 1979 and a then, in 1989, he was ordered to desist from his activities at the Quixote Center and to all activities on behalf of Nicaragua and to refrain from making any “embarrassing” and “controversial” statements against the church.
He accepted this, and continued to minster to dissident Catholics.
Callahan married Pomerleau just days before he succumbed from Parkinson’s Disease.
I’m sure the Pope will give him an apology at the Pearly Gates. He owes him at least that.