Thursday, August 14, 2008

Krebs Responds to Bozek's "Underground" Network

In a recent email newsletter, Frank Krebs, pastor of the 90-member Sts. Clare & Francis in Webster Groves, an ECC (Ecumenical "Catholic" Communion) church, a breakaway schismatic group similar to other protestant demoninations, responds to the August 10th article in the Post Dispatch, "Hero? Heretic? Parish divided" by Tim Townsend. The article (which was blogged here) states, in part:
Bozek also has spoken with the Rev. Frank Krebs — pastor of the 90-member Sts. Clare & Francis in Webster Groves, which is separate from the Vatican — about joining Bozek's "underground" network.
Krebs responds, in part:
I have been working very hard for a long time to keep the lines of communication open among Jessica, myself, Marek at St. Stan’s and the two women priests, Elsie McGrath and Ree Hudson, at the St. Therese Community. We have talked about how we might cooperate and collaborate. And hopefully we will continue to do so. I think it is very important to keep the lines of communication open among those of us who have somewhat similar visions. (By the way I had lunch a week or so ago with the pastor at Sts. Peter & Paul Church, a member of a group called the ECC+USA; he is a wonderful man. I intend to stay in touch with him too.) But I have not been invited by Marek into “Bozek’s underground network.”

We are good friends and discuss our views on a variety of topics all the time.
Marek, in my interpretation, has a view of the church that is heavily influenced by his experience in Poland when it was under Soviet control and he was a boy. At that time and place the Roman Catholic Church was underground. It was vibrant and resistant to authoritarian rule. It was bold, defiant, and very much alive. He sees, I believe, St. Stan’s to be like that in relation to the Archdiocese of St. Louis. In scriptural terms he takes a very prophetic stance: bold and over-against the powers that be, but never thinking of himself as outside the group that is condemning him. He insists he is Roman Catholic....
[emphasis original]

Bozek rejects the Church and her teacings yet insists that he is Roman Catholic...Krebs seems to understand the absurdity of this claim, if I undertand his italicized "Roman" above...Krebs at least seems to have the cognizance to not make that claim. He still believes, hoever, that he is "Catholic" - just as so many others lay claim to the name.

Marek and I have a lot in common. We believe in an inclusive church. We both identify as Catholic and take that identity very seriously. We believe that if the people are the Church, they should certainly make decisions about how the Church should function. But I, and I believe I can speak for us at Sts. Clare & Francis and say “we,” see ourselves through a different lens. We are not underground because for us there is no need to be underground; there is no Soviet Union forcing us underground. We are in a church body (the ECC) where we can be Catholic and in full collaboration with our bishop and be just as inclusive and democratic as we want to be. We’re not fighting those kinds of battles. We’re putting our energy into building a Church we are proud of, not fighting one we are not proud of. So Marek and I have different perspectives, but we are still friends…and, to the extent we can be, collaborators.

Enough has been written about Marek Bozek - soon he will be laicized. Whether the members of St Stanislaus want access to valid or licit sacraments by a priest in communion with the Church founded by Our Lord remains to be seen.

Another observation is in order - Krebs and others who have left the Roman Catholic Church may not consider themselves part of an "underground" network but, in actuality, by working outside the Church and against the Church, some might rightfully consider that as part of an "underground" effort or network. Krebs, being a Catholic ex-priest, should understand that.

"He who is not with me is against me..." Matthew 12:30.

Please continue to pray for those blinded by their pride, passions and sins and pray for the disaffected members of St Stanislaus.

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