Friday, July 25, 2008

St. Louis archdiocese sues rebellious parish

St. Louis, Jul. 24, 2008 ( - The St. Louis archdiocese has filed a civil lawsuit against the board of a rebellious parish, in an effort to restore archdiocesan control.

The archdiocese argues that the leaders of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish has violated their own corporate bylaws by rejecting the authority of the local archbishop. Former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke excommunicated the board members of the parish after they defied the archbishop and appointed a pastor who was not in good standing with the Church. The archdiocese has announced that if the lawsuit is successful, a new administrator will be appointed to lead St. Stanislaus Kostka parish.

In the suit filed in Missouri court on July 23, the archdiocese is joined by six parishioners, including three former members of the board of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish. The former board members-- Bernice Krauze, Stanley Rozanski, and Robert Zabielski -- have all been reconciled with the Church.

The priest currently heading the parish, Father Marek Bozek, was also excommunicated by Archbishop Burke. Father Bozek, a priest of the neighboring Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese, came to the parish without ecclesiastical approval, having been suspended by his own bishop there. A native of Poland, Father Bozek has a checkered career that includes participating in a feminist "ordination" ceremony-- another offense that would bring automatic excommunication.

Father Bozek is one of the two named defendants in the lawsuit brought by the archdiocese; the other is Bill Bialczak, the chairman of the parish board.

That parish board voted in June to dissolve itself, and schedule new elections in August.

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