Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Archbishop Burke meets with St. Stanislaus' priest

By Tim Townsend
St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke met Tuesday with a priest he declared excommunicated in December. The Rev. Marek Bozek, who was hired as pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish late last year, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he had met with the archbishop but would not comment on their conversation.

Bozek, a Polish national who has worked as a Catholic priest in southwestern Missouri for three years, left his home diocese of Springfield Cape-Girardeau without the permission of his own bishop, John J. Leibrecht, to lead St. Stanislaus.

Leibrecht suspended Bozek on Dec. 2, and the priest was immediately hired by St. Stanislaus's lay board of directors. The parish had been without an ordained leader since August 2004, when Burke removed its priests.

By hiring Bozek, the six members of the board also brought excommunication on themselves by committing a schismatic act, according to Burke. The archbishop has since "suppressed" St. Stanislaus, meaning the parish north of downtown is no longer part of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Phone calls to the archdiocese seeking comment were not returned Tuesday afternoon.
Perhaps our friends from St. Stanislaus would care to comment?

Perhaps, Archbishop Burke was informing him of the next step in the process - that about which Dr Ed Peters commented on Dec 20 2005:
Fr. Bozek needs to know something here: contumacy for an excommunication imposed for an act of schism is itself punishable, this time, by penal dismissal from the clerical state (1983 CIC 1364 § 2). Moreover, once imposed, penal dismissal from the clergy--not being a censure (1983 CIC 1336 § 1, 5°)--is not reversible by what amounts to offering a sincere apology. Indeed, reinstatement of a "defrocked" priest is reserved to Rome (1983 CIC 293) and is so rare as to be non-existent.

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