Excommunication Lifted for 3 in St. Louis

Sought Reconciliation After Hiring Suspended Priest

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ST. LOUIS, Missouri, JULY 28, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Three leaders of a former St. Louis parish who incurred excommunication for hiring a suspended priest have been reconciled with the Church.



According to a statement last week from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Bernice Krauze, Stanley Rozanski and Robert Zabielski, members of the Board of Directors of St. Stanislaus Parish Corporation, met in June with Archbishop Raymond Burke to be reconciled fully with the Church.

"They are once again in full communion with the Catholic Church and are no longer under any censure," the archdiocese reported.

The St. Stanislaus Parish Corporation is associated with what used to be St. Stanislaus Kostka parish. The board of directors incurred excommunication in December 2005, a penalty that was later confirmed by the Vatican.

"The members of the board had committed the most grievous delict of schism by hiring a suspended priest, that is, a priest not in good standing in the Church, for the purpose of attempting to celebrate the sacraments and sacramentals at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, all outside of the communion of the Catholic Church," Archbishop Burke explained in his weekly column for the archdiocesan newspaper in May of this year.

The priest involved, Father Marek Bozek of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, had left his priestly assignment against the expressed will of his bishop, Bishop John Leibrecht, in order to be hired by the St. Stanislaus Kostka Corporation.

The priest was suspended from all acts of the power of holy orders and of governance.

The three board members who gained back their communion with the Church have joined other parishioners of the former St. Stanislaus Kostka parish in filing a lawsuit against the St. Stanislaus Parish Corporation, the archdiocese reported.

The lawsuit is asking for the corporation to adhere to the 1891 bylaws, to which the parish and the Archdiocese of St. Louis had agreed.

If the lawsuit is successful, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is prepared to appoint a Catholic priest, Jesuit Father Michael Marchlewski, to St. Stanislaus as administrator.