250 attend Mass backing Burke in
St. Stanislaus Kostka fight.
By Aisha Sultan
Of the Post-Dispatch
Both sides in dispute remain
deadlocked, are rallying supporters.
Both sides deadlocked in the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church
dispute seem to be engaged in a back-and-forth volley of Masses,
marches and support rallies.
About 250 worshippers attended a "solidarity" Mass Sunday at St. John
the Apostle and Evangelist Church downtown to show support for
Archbishop Raymond Burke and his efforts to wrest control of the
church's governance from a lay board of directors.
previous Sunday, those supporting the board of directors' efforts to
keep the church independent held a prayer vigil and march from the
Cathedral Basilica to the Archdiocese chancery. Richard Bach, a
spokesman for parishioners opposed to Burke's claims, said about 300
St. Stanislaus, which is northwest of downtown, has been controlled by
its own board since 1891. It was the home of Polish-language Masses
until August, when Burke temporarily transferred the Polish apostolate
to St. John and removed the priests from St. Stanislaus. About
100 Polish Catholics loyal to Burke attend Mass at St. John, but they
will be transferred permanently to St. Agatha parish on July 1.
Eugene Brzyski, 62, of Olivette, said the Polish supporters at St. John
sent a letter explaining their side of the story to all of the area
parishes and asked for their support. He
said about two-thirds of those
attending Sunday came from other parishes.
"We are surprised and we are very, very pleased," he said. Brzyski
added that Burke has given the board ample guarantees that St. Stan's
will not be closed down. He said the continued fighting boils down to
who will control the parish.
however, said recent reports about development near St. Stanislaus
church only confirm parishioners' fears that their property eventually
will be sold to the highest bidder by the archdiocese.
There will be a monthly "Mass of Solidarity with Archbishop Burke" at
St. John on the second Sunday of each month. The parishioners at St.
Stanislaus continue to hold weekly prayer services at the church and
are seeking a priest to resume Mass.
Reporter Aisha Sultan
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