14 February 2013

St. Stanislaus Officially Affirms its Apostasy; Archdiocese Gives up its Lawsuit

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.”


Patrick Kinsale said...

Confidential terms? Why? Can't we have a little more transparency? And please, don't tell me it's just standard operating procedure.

Unknown said...

I think it was a mistake for the Archdiocese to take "St. Stan's" to court. Suppose the Archdiocese had won? What kind of victory would it be to have a churchful of schismatics to deal with? It may not be charitable, but I say goodbye and good riddance to them!

Anonymous said...

St. Stanislaus has won the buildings and bank accounts, while losing its most valuable asset – its status as the star rebel against the local Catholic hierarchy. Relieved of its public crusade, it is now just another liberal church, susceptible to the maladies afflicting many such churches. It will do well for the first generation, emboldened by its legal victory and notoriety, but by the third generation it will probably be worried about closing. (Ironic, since fear of that prospect is what motivated the original Polish board to make its stance in the first place. The further irony is that the original Polish board did so in an effort to keep its parish, only to now lose it to a group of largely outsider progressives.)

Many people sincerely believe that changes to the Catholic Church will make it healthier – we cannot dismiss that sincerity – but another church offers a cautionary tale. The Episcopal Church has virtually every reform that progressives would like to see – election of bishops, wide eligibility for clergy, less strict mores on marriage and sexuality – and it faces problems worse than the Catholic Church. It has seen a nearly 50% decline in communicants over the past five decades (as the nation's population doubled), a 31% drop in priesthood ordinations from 2005 to 2011, and even a few dioceses breaking off to form the Anglican Church in North America (with Episcopal Presiding Bishop Schori stating – apparently without irony – that “schism is not a Christian act”). None of this detracts from the sincerity or personal holiness that many Episcopalian laity and clergy have, it just goes to show what embracing the culture’s values gets you.

Bryan Kirchoff
St. Louis

YoungCatholicSTL said...

While I am disappointed to see the Archdiocese drop the lawsuit (mostly because I really thought the Archdiocese should have won at the trial level), it may be for the best. Obviously, I hate to see a beautiful church like St. Stan's fall out of Catholic hands, but the loss of St. Stan's also ensures the continuation of St. Agatha's, an equally beautiful church. The big loss here is the souls that have been corrupted by St. Stan's. But winning the lawsuit isn't going to suddenly win those souls for the Church. In fact, it would likely just embitter them further, and drive them even farther from the Catholic Church. By dropping the suit the Archdiocese accomplishes three positives in my opinion: (1) It quits driving the St. Stan's supporters further away from the Church. (2) It saves money - legal fees, court fees, etc. (3) It finally puts this thing to rest, meaning that St. Stan's will no longer have the lawsuit/the Archdiocese as a source of free advertising, and will quickly drift into oblivion, hopefully causing people who are simply attending there as protest of the Catholic Church to slowly drift away or retain no real reason to continue attending there.

Cbalducc said...

I am the "Unknown" who typed the second comment. I live in Mississippi and have a few questions.

1. Do any of the commenters know people who attended or currently attend "St. Stan's"?

2. Has this situation divided families?

3. Do any of you know if Mr. Bozek has a personality that many people would find attractive? If so, that could contribute a large part to his "following".

Anonymous said...

Sadly this isn't a victory for St. Stanislaus, rather a victory for Fr. Marek Bozek. This has always been about him from the second he moved from Poland to the USA to his departure from the Diocese and now this. I feel sorry for the parishioners who blindly follow him at that parish. This battle had nothing to do with the parish but more with him. He has manipulated the sitation from day one. Having been a parishioner there, I know firsthanded how he has manipulated the votes so that they wouldn't reconcile. Bishop Carlson tried everything to get that parish back into the Catholic faith. Sadly Bozek would have never allowed it. I don't know why they can't see threw his evil intentions. He has rumored that he is a bishop. They are ordaining a deacon. He wants to be a member of the Old Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, the Polish Catholic Church. He can't make up his mind. Everyone knows he is gay and he recently said they will not be involved with Pride. He is for women's ordination. He has boldly stated that when the funds dry up and they can't pay him anyone more, he is gone. What happens to St. Stans in a year, 5-years, 10-years from now when the money is all gone. When the glory has faded and no one cares about their closed minded Polish church. I honestly wished the Archdiocese hadn't given up. This will only fuel is fire to continue on his self centered agenda seeking power hungry drive for control. God help us!

JBJ said...

Hey thetimman,

There are a few of us out here still interested in your more detailed take on this announcement. It seems to be disappointing and somewhat disheartening news.

Eris Blastar said...

St. Norbert is going through it right now. On May 1st at 7pm they will hold and emergency town hall meeting about the future of their church. Charges of abuse, corruption, book cooking, fraud have been issued by the members. A former treasurer claimed the money was going to poorer parishes in St. Louis City. Another said the church had wasted 5 million dollars for a new computer sign and has no way to pay off the debt.