29 July 2010

Archbishop Carlson Makes an Offer to the St. Stan's Congregation

His Grace Archbishop Carlson has published an open letter making an offer of reconciliation to the members of the former parish of St. Stanislaus.  The terms are generous and direct, so I will spare giving a summary here, though I may post commentary on the situation in general in the coming few days.  The St. Louis Review has the goods:

Archbishop Carlson makes an offer to the parishioners of St. Stanislaus


Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Peace, and my greetings to each of you. You are, I am aware, in a time of discernment and are faced with a decision regarding the return of St. Stanislaus to again be a Roman Catholic parish.


Over the past year, since arriving in St. Louis, I have met with the members of the board of directors of St. Stanislaus to find a way in which the parish could be re-established while, at the same time, addressing the fears expressed by many of you over the last seven years that the parish would be closed and its property sold with the proceeds being used for other purposes within the archdiocese.


One of the concerns expressed again and again was that, even if an archbishop made a commitment to keep the parish operating so long as Roman Catholics of Polish heritage wanted to have a parish and were willing to support it, he could not bind his successors.


Working with the members of the St. Stanislaus Board, we have developed the concept of the present corporation continuing to own the parish property and the cash and securities that it holds and leasing, without charge, the parish church and rectory to a new parish corporation, founded on the model of other parish corporations in the archdiocese, of which the pastor would be the president. The Polish Heritage Center would not be leased to the parish corporation, but it would be available, without charge, for all parish functions. The pastor and the board of directors of the St. Stanislaus Corporation would collaborate on fundraising and in other matters relating to the parish and the parish property.


It is my intention that this arrangement continue in perpetuity and that St. Stanislaus always be there as a personal parish for Roman Catholics of Polish ethnicity or language. To the best of my ability, I will assure that there is always a priest available and will work to get a priest, either a diocesan priest or a priest from a religious order, who speaks both Polish and English. If the parish were ever closed in the future by an archbishop, the parish property would continue to be owned by the St. Stanislaus Corporation and used for Polish Roman Catholic religious and charitable purposes.


In order to help get the parish re-established, I have committed that the archdiocese would provide the pastor for the first year of the re-established parish without cost to the parish and would contribute up to $10,000 to pay the cost of the consultant for a fund drive to secure the finances of the parish corporation and the St. Stanislaus Corporation for the future.


This proposal has my full support and I will do everything in my power to make St. Stanislaus succeed as a personal parish for Catholics of Polish heritage.


I ask that you please join me in praying that reconciliation can be brought about and, with the help of God, healing will take place.


Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop of St. Louis
______________________
 
It's nice to see the Archdiocese out in front of the public relations situation on this.  Like I said above, it is a very generous offer to those in the former parish as well as those on the Board.  Let us all pray that this offer meets with acceptance.
 
St. Louis, pray for us.
St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us.
St. Stanislaus Kostka, pray for us.

11 comments:

Nec said...

History has shown that where a private group is involved in stewarding a catholic church or chapel, the preservation succeeds 97% of the time. But where there is a chancery involved, the batting average is much less. So I say leave it in the hands of the Polish, and there is more likely to be a church standing there in 50 years. And that's the important thing.

StGuyFawkes said...

My take:

1.) The agreement functions the same way as the original Kendrick Agreement of the 1800s. The original agreement set up a corporation that could only use the property for the benefit of the Catholic Church and her Polish souls.

What's different?

a.) The Archbishop Carlson deal seems to be pass over in silence the illegitimate nature of the current board. (Remember, the original agreement says the board is to be appointed by the Archdiocese appointed pastor. The current board savaged that part of the agreement and appointed themselves.)

Is Archbishop Carlson accepting as legitimate the current board? Who knows? Sounds like it.

If he is then that would be an example of diplomacy.

b.) The remedy for the illigitimacy of the board is the lease which gets back the "quiet enjoyment" of the property for the Archdiocese.


2.) The "quiet enjoyment" rights of the leasehold can be very powerful. Leasehold rights limit a landlord and in this case the landlord is the St. Stan's corporation.

thetimman said...

Nec, the point here is that the corrupt board couldn't keep a Catholic parish going for 3 weeks, let alone 50 years. That place is currently anything but Catholic, as I have devoted some fair time proving the last three years in this space. There are lots of formerly Catholic Church buildings in the area that house Pentecostals or pigeons, but that ain't the pernt.

St. Guy, I think you are missing something, and I think it is subtle but important.

The corrupt Board continues to own the property and the reported 578 kazillion in assets. But the new Board of the "parish", with the Archbishop-appointed members and the archdiocesan priest, will run the parish. It will make decisions for the parish. It will be Catholic. And the corrupt Board must lease for free the property to them. So, the distrustful-of-the-diocese crowd has protection; should the "parish" be suppressed, all the property and bazillions of gold nuggets remain with the old board. The faithful Catholic crowed has protection; the sacraments validly administered, and the Church in Catholic use.

Oh, and everybody wins when Bozek drives his BMW out of town.

Anonymous said...

1. I hope Nec's comments are facetious. His "And that's the important thing" comment at the end with regards to the building still standing makes me wonder if he is. What good is that building if it doesn't have the true faith? It is like a leaf that has fallen off the branch. It can be pretty, exciting, and even quite moving, but if it doesn't have the tree as a source of support and nourishment, it eventually withers and dies while the tree lives on.

2. If I understand this arrangement correctly, then I have a concern about the use of funds. What happens if the parish board doesn't want to provide for something the priest believes it needs? For (extreme) example, lets say the priest begins saying a regular TLM. As a result, the priest begins burning (literally) through candles faster than before. If the parish board believes the priest shouldn't say a regular TLM, couldn't it refuse to purchase more candles for the priest? In short, what is available to resolve potential disputes between the Diocese/Priest/Diocese-run-corp and the parish corp? Presumably the priest and the parish will be on the same page for most items, but happens when they are not?

3. What happens to St. Agatha's and those Catholics if this goes through? I would think it would be hard for them to rejoin St. Stan's, and/or that it would be hard to maintain two Polish parishes. And, lest we not forget, St. Agatha's was scheduled to be closed in the last wave of parish closings, only to be saved because the Archdiocese needed a place to transplant the faithful Polish Catholics of the STL.

4. Timman, which is it - a bazillion or a kazillion in assets held by St. Stan's?

- YoungCatholicSTL

Anonymous said...

The question I have is this: How does this address the problem that Arbp. Burke saw in the first place with canon law?

Is this just another case of a bishop disregarding canon law to show how tolerant he is and "make peace" by letting everyone do what they want, or does this in some way address the problem?

We should not forget that this started as a real canonical problem, not just a takeover attempt by the mean archbishop.

StGuyFawkes said...

Tim,

I don't see what point I'm missing. I wrote,

"The "quiet enjoyment" rights of the leasehold can be very powerful. Leasehold rights limit a landlord and in this case the landlord is the St. Stan's corporation."

You wrote,

"But the new Board of the "parish", with the Archbishop-appointed members and the archdiocesan priest, will run the parish. It will make decisions for the parish. It will be Catholic. And the corrupt Board must lease for free the property to them."

We're saying the same thing.

This is a win for the Archdiocese unless you happen to believe that there are assets in the bazillions owned by the corporation. I don't agree with that appraisal. I think that valuation of the St. Stan's real estate is a Bialczak-Bozek fabrication.

I am in real estate professionally. Who would buy that place "arms length"? It's worth about 1,500,000 on the cost method. Nothing on the income stream method.

The Archbishop wins if this deal goes through.

However, it does all come down to how the lease is written. If this is a triple net lease then the Archdiocese in effect owns the place and the heretic crowd gets a "reversionary right" to the property in the year 2150.

I'd sign that in a minute. In any case the Old Catholic Chruch gets a new Bishop: Marek Boguslaw BMW.

That's a win.

St. Guy

thetimman said...

Young Cath,

1. Pass

2. That is the inherent danger of this deal, and of the original problematic situation. This type of conflict between Board and pastor had occurred and was one catalyst for the actions of previous archbishops.

3. You have anticipated exactly a subject I want to post on later.

4. It is actually qoogillions of gold ingots dumped by the aliens who built the pyramids.

StGuyFawkes said...

To Tim, STL CATH, and all,

Okay, on my third read I guess I see one real problem with the deal. The Archbishop wrote,

"The pastor and the board of directors of the St. Stanislaus Corporation would collaborate on fundraising and in other matters relating to the parish and the parish property."

I suppose the Bialzcak / Bozek board might refuse to raise funds or distribute funds to the "parish corporation" in order to squeeze the pastor and parish into acquiescence to any heretical ideals they still want to promote.

Nonetheless, I still insist that the devil will be in the details of the lease. Real Estate leases can be written such that the "landlord" in this case the "St. Stan's Corporation" will have to pay tenant ("parish") expenses such as electricity, HVAC, grounds maintenance etc.

To answer Stl Cath's concern, yes if there were to be a TLM and the need to buy more candles I guess the tenant or parish would have to do the bake sale. It could get awkward. I see both Tim's and Stl Cath's point.

Nonetheless, isn't the real issue who constitutes the present parish and given that the current members are Bozek loyalists isn't it likely that they will reject this proposal?

St. Guy

Anonymous said...

Timman:

Thanks for clarifying number 4 for me. Did the aliens who dumped the gold also dump Mr. Bozek?

Now to a more serious concern, and this is the attorney in me coming out, what is the consideration being paid the landlord/lessor here? To have a valid contract (and a lease is a contract), you must have consideration on both sides. Clearly the Archdiocese is receiving the right to use the property, etc. But what is St. Stan's getting out of this? The right to call themselves Roman Catholic and have a Roman Catholic Mass? Is that sufficient consideration for this to be valid? And does the lease have to be renewed every 5, 10, 20 years? Might we be facing this problem again in a few years?

- YoungCath

Peggy said...

I have some Qs regarding the reconciliation of individuals who want to be Roman Catholic and be part of that parish. Are Abp. Burke's offers still in play, ie, to regularize marriages and other sacraments invalidly administered by Bozek? Do the laity who participated in this sham of a parish have to go to confession before receiving communion again? Does the corrupt Board have to reconcile as well with confession, eg? After all they were automatically excommunicated, I believe. Will the re-instated parish begin perhaps with a day of reconciliation and confession before a mass is celebrated? Will the Church sanctuary need to be blessed anew? Or are all those left in Bozakland today folks who won't stick around for real Catholicism?

StGuyFawkes said...

All of Peggy's questions are right on the money. I'd love to know how "the deal" will handle details like the status of the invalid marriages and confessions.