Friday, July 25, 2008

Of Excommunications and Grace in St. Louis

You may recall the odd situation at St. Stanislaus Kostka in St. Louis where an unusual lay-trustee board was excommunicated by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke after a series of odd twists and turns which included hiring a wayward priest from another diocese.

Fr. Marek Bozek had come across as a traditionalist priest, but it didn't take long for the fruits of disobedience to become visible: The priest later attracted the disobedient, from gays and lesbians flaunting their status to those pridefully dissenting from various teachings.
His excellency was vilified, especially by the secular press for "picking on" these people, and even in dissenting Catholic circles. Now, the fruits of his efforts are showing the effectiveness that excommunication can have when used.

Several of those board members have gone forward to seek reconciliation with Burke and the Church and three have joined him in a lawsuit against Bozek and company. The Archbishop has been working to laicize the wayward priest who has thumbed his nose at every attempt to made to reign him in and now the Vatican will decide his fate.

This is the way it is suppose to happen. Excommunication is the Church's form of tough love and its purpose isn't to kick people out, but to get them to think about the seriousness of their position and to reconcile with the Church.

Here are other posts made on this, the first of which I recommend if you do not have much background in this issue. I went back through the history and the most unusual situation that sparked it all. This was a really devastating story that may have a good ending after all, especially if those reconciled parishioners can get their parish back from Bozek.







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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

2 comments:

Missy said...

I find the whole situation in St. Louise to be extremely sad. It predates Fr. Bozek by--what? Over a hundred years?

I suppose simply offering the sacraments to that parish was seen by his Excellency as an act of disobedience.

Diane said...

Dear Missy,

I discussed the problematic and outdated "lay trustee system" in this post.

What good are invalid sacraments?

That is what Fr. Bozek was offering. This priest left his home diocese without permission of his own bishop and took up residence at St. Stanislaus in another diocese without permission, and refused to leave.

Further reading: Obedience and why it is important.