After shopping for clerical collars for most of his adult life, the Vatican has told Roy Bourgeois that he can buy button-down shirts off the rack.
His change of wardrobe began last month when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "canonically dismissed" the activist priest from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers -- an order that he served for 46 years.
"The decision dispenses the Maryknoll priest from his sacred bonds," the National Catholic Reporter said.
In layman's terms, that was like Donald Trump putting on a red robe and telling the SOA Watch founder he was fired.
Bourgeois has been in trouble since 2008 when he defied papal authority and participated in what is deemed the invalid ordination of a woman. The church gave him a chance to recant and, when he refused, the former University of Southwestern Louisiana football player was excommunicated.
So the Catholic Church has discovered that Roy Bourgeois is defiant. Where have they been all his life?
Bourgeois was born in Louisiana where the chain of command included priests, bishops and football coaches. He was so obedient that he became an officer in the U.S. Navy.
After serving in Vietnam, he surprisingly turned to the priesthood. He was an activist in seminary, got arrested at an anti-war protest and since then has demonstrated all over the world. He served prison time because of his efforts to shut down the former School of the Americas at Fort Benning.
He lives in an apartment in sight of the post. Life is simple. Private moments in which he celebrates communion with his aging father and pots of gumbo from his sister's kitchen are his greatest rewards.
A few weeks ago, he led a band of SOA Watch protesters on Fort Benning Road that declines in number every year. There isn't much the Vatican or the Maryknolls can take away from him but his clerical collar.
That was done Nov. 19.
"Disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women's ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and lacization," a statement from the Maryknolls said.
Bourgeois offered no hint of conciliation:
"When there is an injustice, silence is the voice of complicity. My conscience compelled me to break my silence and address the sin of sexism in my Church. My only regret is that it took me so long to confront the issue of male power and domination in the Catholic Church."
Bourgeois is running out of earthly appeals. Man has erased the vows he made to God. His message has always been built on solidarity and one at a time he is losing solidarity with the institutions he has always valued.
So much for sacred bonds.
-- Richard Hyatt is an independent correspondent. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org