Archbishop 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.

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