Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Stanislaus, Long Split from Roman Catholic Church, Weighs a Future with Episcopal Diocese

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Stanislaus, Long Split from Roman Catholic Church, Weighs a Future with Episcopal Diocese

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS -- The leaders of St. Stanislaus Kostka Polish Catholic Church were taking an informal survey of its 300 members this weekend to determine whether they would be in favor of joining the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri.

The landmark church on North 20th Street in the city's Carr Square neighborhood has been independent since its highly publicized breakup with the Roman Catholic Church in 2005.

Its pastor, the Rev. Marek Bozek, was stripped of his functions as a priest by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. And in 2013, the St. Louis Roman Catholic Archdiocese ended its appeal of a St. Louis Circuit Court decision ending archdiocesan control of the parish.

Bozek ignored the actions of the pope and continued leading services at St. Stanislaus. The parish, operating as an independent Catholic church, has been exploring affiliations for more than four years.

The Episcopal diocese has told St. Stanislaus leaders that "we would be able to keep the traditions and government of the church as it has been for 127 years," Bozek said.

Becoming part of a larger organization would help with some costs, such as insurance, and place it within a hierarchy to forge an essential "connection with others," he said.

Although St. Stanislaus would be governed by the Episcopal Church, it would be able to maintain its Catholic identity and traditions and establish a connection with churches in Europe that have split from the Roman Catholic Church, Bozek said.

Since 1934, the Episcopal Church has been in union with a Netherlands-based federation known as the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches. The European denomination, with 115,000 members, separated from Rome in the 19th century over the doctrine of papal infallibility.

Under the agreement, each church agrees to admit members of the other -- without requiring the acceptance of all doctrinal opinion, sacramental devotion or liturgical practice of the other. …

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