Archdiocese sues St. Stanislaus...

By Tim Townsend and Heather Ratcliffe

The St. Louis Archdiocese filed suit today against the St. Stanislaus Kostka church in an attempt to regain control of the former Polish parish.

Six parishioners, including three recent board members, joined the archdiocese in the suit. They are asking a St. Louis judge to void any changes to the St. Stanislaus' bylaws since 2001 and give the archbishop the authority to appoint a pastor and board there.

Last month, the St. Stanislaus board voted 4-3 to dissolve itself and allow parishioners to elect a new board at its annual meeting in August. Eight St. Stanislaus board members had been declared excommunicated by Archbishop Raymond Burke.

According to the archdiocese, the three board members who lost that vote - Bernice Krauze, Stanley Rozanski, and Robert Zabielski - were secretly reconciled with the Roman Catholic church last month in a meeting with Burke before Pope Benedict XVI re-assigned him to a new position at the Vatican.

Last month, Edward Florek, a former board member, also reconciled with the church.

The archdiocese’s release said that if the lawsuit is successful, it "is prepared to appoint a Catholic priest, Rev. Michael Marchlewski, SJ, to St. Stanislaus as administrator."

The parish has managed itself in a special arrangement dating to the 19th century. Burke removed priests from the parish in 2004. The following year, the Polish-born Rev. Marek Bozek left his assignment in Springfield, Mo., without permission in December 2005 to become St. Stanislaus' pastor.

In May, the Vatican upheld the excommunication of the original Stanislaus Six, whose penalties were imposed on them by Burke in 2005 after they hired Bozek, who also was excommunicated. 314-340-8221

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