Father Roy Bourgeois, a renown American Catholic priest, may soon be dismissed from the priesthood because he refuses to recant his personal view that women could be validly ordained as priests.

Father Bourgeois is already well-known known to many for his work to end US-government-funded combat training of Latin American militaries.

But is his controversial view on the ordination of women that led to a March 29 canonical warning from the leadership of his religious community, the Maryknoll Society. The community gave him 15 days to recant his views.

To underscore the seriousness of the request Bourgeois was then warned that failure to do so would result in a second canonical warning.

A second canonical warning would mean his superiors would submit a request for his dismissal to Rome.

In a letter quoted in the Irish Times this week, Bourgeois wrote to his superior general Father Edward Dougherty, saying "as a Catholic priest for 38 years, I believe our church's teaching that excludes women from the priesthood defies both faith and reason."

Father Bourgeois then pointed to a 1976 report from a Vatican Biblical Commission which found there was "no valid case to be made against the ordination of women from the scriptures."

He said his superiors were telling him to lie and say he did not believe that God calls both men and women to the priesthood. "This I cannot do," he wrote, "therefore I will not recant."

Father Roy Bourgeois