24 July 2008

Endgame?


The local press is now picking up on the logical result of the St. Stan's lawsuit, should it be successful. The immediate situation would be a compromise: Bozek will be out, and the parish will still be operated in a manner different from other parishes. Before this STL Today story was posted, I wrote to a friend my initial take on the lawsuit:

It is apparent that the Archdiocese is not insisting that the parish conform its manner of administration to that of every other parish in the Archdiocese, as His Grace has insisted upon for three years without compromise. This leads to the logical conclusion that only two things are possible:

1. His Grace softened his position in order to bring about the reconciliation of the board members and the parishioners, and to protect the parish from Bozek and his schemes. The parish will, if the lawsuit is successful, revert to the status quo ante until some future date when perhaps a trust arrangement much like His Grace proposed three years ago is agreed to, thus ending the matter. The date of the lifting of the excommunications and His Grace's pastoral nature favor this possibility.

2. New management has essentially given up the whole point of the initial dispute in order to oust Bozek and regain the parish. The desire to compromise the situation with the Polish parishioners who forced this dispute and to perhaps garner the support of the former parish either for a settlement agreement or for the new Board vote, if held, favor this possibility.

If it is possibility number 1, the Archbishop deserves more credit than he will get in the press on this. Eventually, this will be reported either as a lose-lose caused by the "bully" and salvaged by the more pastoral chancery or else as a straight-out defeat for the Archbishop. Very few will want to appreciate the fact that the Archbishop's steadfast resolve may have made a reconciliation possible.
The second part of Bozek's quote, below (the first part is typical Bozek-speak), shows that this matter will be reported as a defeat for His Grace no matter what his intent and no matter how obvious it is that the Board's disobedience brought the moral disaster that has marked the Bozek-occupation.
The story says officials hope for a compromise before the injunction hearing on August 5.  Only time and events will show which of the above possibilities is true.  From the full article:
Lawsuit could resolve dispute
By Heather Ratcliffe
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
St. Louis — The Archdiocese of St. Louis and six current and former members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church filed a lawsuit Wednesday that they believe will lead to a compromise on how the parish will be managed.
The plaintiffs are asking a judge to restore the structure of the parish to the way it was before 2001, when the St. Stanislaus board controlled the property and assets while the archbishop appointed board members and a pastor.

Archdiocese officials said St. Stanislaus would be unlike any other parish in St. Louis under this structure. They hope the lawsuit will lead to a compromise, one that the archdiocese is willing to make if it leads to reconciliation with the historically Polish parish, officials said.

"We want to do everything we can to bring healing to St. Stanislaus," said Bishop Robert Hermann, who is the acting leader of the archdiocese.

[...]
The Rev. Marek Bozek, who is serving as pastor at St. Stanislaus, said his parishioners had been asking the archdiocese to honor the century-old agreement since the beginning of the dispute.

"I will be the happiest person if reconciling is possible," Bozek said Wednesday. "If they are saying that they are willing to go back to the original agreement, it proves that we are right."

[...]
St. Louis Circuit Judge Bryan Hettenbach set a hearing in the case for Aug. 5.

Archdiocese officials said they hoped the matter could be resolved before then. Bozek said he would be willing to sit down with the archdiocese's leaders to discuss a compromise.

Zabielski, who spoke at a press conference at the archdiocese on Wednesday, said he supported the proposal, as described in the lawsuit.

Bernard Huger, attorney for the archdiocese, said the heightening controversy kept the archdiocese from filing the lawsuit in the past. "The archbishop didn't want to make this worse," Huger said.

Now that the former board members are seeking reconciliation, the time is right to file the lawsuit, he added.

If both parties agree to return the previous management structure — brokered in 1891 — it will bring the parishioners back into communion with the Roman Catholic church. But such a compromise also would mean Bozek will be removed as pastor. The Vatican is currently considering a request from Burke that Bozek be laicized, or returned to the status of a layperson.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Win-win: St. Stanislas in (the Church), Bozek out (of the priesthood).

StGuyFawkes said...

What's being lost in all this is that the Archbishop, should he win the suit, will have advanced his position.

This lawsuit, if successful, would cancel the traitorous changes to the bylaws made in 2004. Those changes made the priest the puppet of the board. ANd that's why His Grace pulled the priests.

In the original Kendrick 1891 rules the Archbishop appointed the priest and the priest picked the Board. The priest also had access to all church assets.

Access is everything, ownership is relatively unimportant. If the court sends Stan's back to it's original bylaws then Bozek is out, the board is controlled by the Archbishop and the Chancery office wins.

One real loser in this scenario would be Mr. William Bialzcak.

Should the old Kenrick rules go back in full force he (and some others) would become men without a parish.

If I remember correctly the excommunication decree against Mr. Bialzcak was long and detailed. At the time of its publication I wondered aloud why so many charges had been laid out separately.

Now it is obvious. For him to reconcile after this is all over, for him to crawl back off that long limb, he's going to have to repent, sincerely, for each and every charge.

It should be properly humiliating.

I mean humiliating in the positive sense of humbling.

Peter said...

It is sad that the Archdiocese had to use secular (legal) means to re-establish the unity of Holy Mother Church.
Sad still that so many of the parishioners of St. Stan's bought into and took part in this heretical act.
It is pathetic that MISTER Bozek said he goal was reconciliation..when it was really to advance his agenda of sinful and unCatholic teachings. May God have mercy on him.
I just pray that the Holy Spirit will reform the parishioners hearts to authentic Catholic doctrine.

Anonymous said...

You always like to claim that the news media spins against the Archbishop. Well, it's very obvious that you're trying to spin this in the Archbishop's behalf. What an utter waste of time this has been, and the Archdiocese is going to spend the faithful's money in a lawsuit that would not have happened if they had just left St. Stanislaus alone from the beginning.dm

Anonymous said...

Would someone please explain why there has to be a lawsuit? Can't they just request that things go back to the original agreement? It seems to me that that was the ORIGINAL dispute all along. Things just escalated as the Archbishops put the pressure on.

YoungCatholicSTL said...

Any thoughts on why media coverage of this lawsuit has been so sparse? Sure there's a PD article about it and it made the news, but on STLToday and KSDK.com, the story is no longer even mentioned. Compared to the play these stories were getting a few weeks ago, this is nothing. It didn't even make the headline of the 10p.m. news last night!

Is it because "Big Bad" Burke is gone? Because the media is viewing this as an internal fight now, with the board members suing the church? Or is it because they might actually realize the right thing has occurred here, that Bozek is a bozo, and might be forced to admit some mistakes if they covered it to the extent they have in the past?

Just curious what people think.

Latinmassgirl said...

I hope they do NOT go back in time in allowing St. Stan to be "different" than all other parishes, by controlling their own assets! They are simply rewarding disobedience with this so-called "compromise" and I think it is a slap in the face to the Church and the Archbishop!

Money should not be so important to these Polish people that they are willing to give up their souls, which is what they did by disobeying our Archbishop.

Now the example will be out, that our Archdiocese will cave under pressure, giving in to a so called "compromise". Archbishop Burke will loose credibility, and he deserves better than that!

Peggy said...

Timman,

I see this post. Thanks for the long and thoughtful analysis. I saw YoungSTLC's comments as well. It is as I figured, that we have to re-instate the pre-schism status quo and go from there. I hope it all goes well, though it may take time.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 11:28, you are failing to accept two things: 1)The Archdiocese did not change the original agreement, the St. Stanislaus board did, and 2)In matters of obedience, the 4th commandment calls us to give deferrence to legitimate authority where sinful action is neither the means nor the end.

This saying is true "While there may be a shortage of men who will serve as priests, there is no shortage of people who appoint themselves pope"

Archbishop Burke is and has been a true shepard; he has just been forced to try and herd goats.

TIP

Anonymous said...

9:50 Rustler rides again.

Anonymous said...

Quoted from StGuyFawkes comment above (7/28): "This lawsuit, if successful, would cancel the traitorous changes to the bylaws made in 2004. Those changes made the priest the puppet of the board. ANd that's why His Grace pulled the priests."

Apart from the reference found above, why does the true cause of this whole scandal NEVER get included in discussions about this situation? The whole reason His Grace, our Most Rev. Archbishop, got involved in the first place is because the St. Stan Board limited the authority of the duly appointed pastor in such a way that the priest could no longer function as the pastor of a Catholic parish. The Archbishop HAD to get involved. The first volley came from St. Stan's (not the archbishop) and it was a VERY SERIOUS volley. Why is that almost always overlooked?