Vatican Confirms Excommunication of St. Louis Group

Hired Suspended Priest for St. Stanislaus

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ST. LOUIS, Missouri, MAY 29, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A decision by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith confirmed an earlier declaration from the St. Louis archbishop that the board of directors of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Corporation and the priest they hired are excommunicated.



The corporation is associated with what used to be St. Stanislaus Kostka parish.

Archbishop Raymond Burke, in his weekly column in the St. Louis Review to be published Friday, explained the history of the Vatican congregation clarification.

He noted that in 2005, he "was obliged to declare the excommunication of the members of the board of directors of St. Stanislaus Kostka Corporation because of their persistence in schism. 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."

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.

In St. Louis, Archbishop Burke said he "urged [Father Bozek] to be obedient to his bishop and not to participate in the schismatic activity of the Board of Directors of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Corporation. Reverend Bozek also refused to follow my direction and, likewise, incurred the penalty of excommunication because of persistence in schism."

The board appealed for a review, but the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took two actions, the archbishop explained: "First, it has rejected the recourse presented by the Board of Directors of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Corporation, including Reverend Bozek. In other words, it has found the recourse to be without foundation.

"Secondly, the Congregation has confirmed my decrees of December 15, 2005, by which I declared that the members of the Board of Directors had incurred the canonical penalty of excommunication because of persistence in schism."