Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Archbishop Burke is vindicated. The local newspaper the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has been raking him over the coals for years, so I wonder if that will stop. I'm not going to hold my breath.

Vatican upholds declaration of excommunication for St. Stan Six
By Tim Townsend

The St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church
(Kevin Manning/P-D)

ST. LOUIS -- The Vatican has upheld St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke’s 2005 declaration of excommunication of the Stanislaus Six, the six lay members of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church board who refused to turn over church property and assets to the archdiocese.
The board members were declared excommunicated after they hired a priest — the Rev. Marek Bozek — who had been suspended by his own bishop in the diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Bozek was also declared excommunicated by Burke, but his appeal was not addressed by the Vatican.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rejected the board’s appeal of the excommunications, writing in a decree dated May 15, 2008, that "it is evident that the Board Members have committed the delict of schism by constituting St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish as an independent entity capable of appointing its own clergy apart from the hierarchy of the Church."

"In a gradual process the parish has been removed from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary," the Congregation’s prefect, Cardinal William Levada continued. "This can be seen as an expression of the refusal of the members of the Board to subject themselves to the lawfully constituted Ecclesiastical authority."

Schism, the canoncial offense that triggered the excommunications, is defined in the Catechism and the Code of Canon law as "the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

Catholic law says that only a bishop can appoint priests to parishes.

The board members were given 30 days to appeal the Vatican’s ruling.