St. Stanislaus Holds First Sunday Mass Since Receiving Notification Of Suppression.

created: 1/8/2006 6:28:05 PM
updated: 1/8/2006 7:05:53 PM 

By Rebecca Wu

(KSDK) - St. Stanislaus held its first Sunday Mass since the Archbishop of St. Louis notified its members they are no longer part of the Archdiocese.

During it's Polish Mass, they sang, they prayed and they received Holy Communion. But according to the Archbishop of St. Louis, they are no longer part of the Roman Catholic family. Parishioner Alice Kaminski took issue with that. She said, "I am Roman Catholic. I have always been a Roman Catholic, generations of my family have always been Roman Catholic. Who's saying I am not a Roman Catholic. I will be Roman Catholic until the day I die."

On Friday, Archbishop Raymond Burke notified the parish they cannot operate independently as a civil corporation and at the same time be part of the Roman Catholic church. Parishioner Anthony Kaminski said, "It makes me quite upset because it leads other people to think we are rebels and non-believers and there's nothing farther from the truth. We've been law-abiding parishioners of the church for all these years and that's not going to change."

During his homily, Father Mark Bozek talked about the issue of suppression saying this is not what Jesus would've done. He pointed out that the manger where Jesus was born included animals and pagans. Father Mark Bozek said, "Imagine the Archbishop being a gatekeeper at the manger scene. Would we have all these Magi coming to Jesus today? I'm afraid he would have said, 'I'm sorry guys you are not Roman Catholics, you can't come here, there's no room for you.' Well Jesus didn't."

But not all long-time members of St. Stanislaus are against the Archbishop. That's why they moved to St. Agatha to attend its Polish Mass. Former St. Stanislaus parishioner Wanda Brzyski said, "If you want to have a marriage, you need to follow marriage rules, if you do not follow you need to go out of the marriage, simple."

When asked why, they didn't have problems with St. Stanislaus being independent over the last century, they said there wasn't a conflict with the Archdiocese until now. That's why Alex Gorka left St. Stanislaus after 20 years. He said, "I'm very sad. that's my heart broken. But not Archbishop broke the church. The people there they broke the church. They're at fault for what happened there. Because we only got one church."

In response to why St. Stanislaus doesn't follow the same rules as other Catholic churches, Father Bozek said, "We are following the same rules. We are following all the dogmas of Catholic faith and the rules of discipline. The only question we have is the small administration rule."

That rule has to do with whether a lay board or the Archbishop should have final say and control of the church and its assets.

NewsChannel 5 contacted the Archdiocese of St. Louis and a spokesperson said nothing has changed from Friday when the notification of suppression was made.

St. Stanislaus is appealing the suppression and the ex-communication of its priest and board of directors. The Archdiocese spokesperson said they have not received official notice of the appeal. 

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