Legally, a victory for Mr. Bozek. Spiritually, an acknowledgement by the degraded priest and his apostate flock they are not Catholic. Reality thus prevails. Enjoy the "millions" while you can!
I'm off to Mass, so any serious analysis will come later today.
From STLToday, story by Tim Townsend, photo by Laurie Skrivan:
The St. Louis Archdiocese said Wednesday that it will end its appeal of a St. Louis Circuit Court decision handing over control of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church.
In a joint statement issued in response to queries from the Post-Dispatch, attorneys for the archdiocese and St. Stanislaus said they had resolved their legal dispute.
“The Archdiocese will dismiss its appeal, and the judgment of the trial court is now final,” according to the statement.
As part of the agreement, St. Stanislaus agreed to abstain from representing itself as affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. Neither side made any payments to the other as part of the resolution, according to the statement. Attorneys said all other terms of the agreement were confidential.
“By bringing this legal dispute to an end, we pray that this will help to initiate a process of healing,” the statement said.
The Rev. Marek Bozek, the former Catholic priest who has led St. Stanislaus since parishioners hired him in 2005 in violation of canon law, said in an interview that he was “glad it’s over and done.”
“This won’t change anything besides making us breathe easier,” he said. “This statement only affirms the status quo of everything we’ve been since December ’05.”
Last March, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Bryan Hettenbach ruled against the archdiocese in a sweeping decision affirming St. Stanislaus’ ownership of its property. The church is at 1413 North 20th Street.
Afterward, Archbishop Robert Carlson told reporters at a news conference that he would appeal Hettenbach’s decision “all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.”
Carlson declined to be interviewed.
Much of Hettenbach’s opinion centered on changes to the church’s bylaws in 2001 and 2004 that eventually allowed the board to eliminate the authority of the archbishop over those church decisions.
The archdiocese sued the St. Stanislaus Parish Corp. in 2008 to regain control of the church’s assets and property from the church’s lay board.
Hettenbach found that none of the language in the changed bylaws conflicted with the board’s purpose in the original articles of agreement.
Despite the turn of events, Bozek said the congregation would not be celebrating, in deference to Ash Wednesday, “but the happy news has made our fasting a very rewarding experience.”