Skip to comments.An Appeal from a Group of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parishioners
Posted on 02/26/2005 7:55:08 PM PST by lrslattery
AN APPEAL THAT WILL NEVER MAKE THE NEWS
FROM A GROUP OF ST. STANISLAUS KOSTKA PARISHIONERS
February 21, 2005
Dear Friends in the Archdiocese of St. Louis:
Since March 2004 Catholics in the St. Louis area have been affected by a dispute between the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and the lay board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish which illegally took away control of the parish corporation from the Roman Catholic Church. The conflict escalated after the board refused to bring the parish civil structure into conformity with Church law that clearly states that the pastor appointed by the Archbishop, not a group of laymen who assign the pastor the role of an employee, has ultimate authority regarding parish life. As a result of the boards defiance, manifested by offensive behavior of board members towards our priests, in August 2004 Archbishop Burke transferred the parish center to St. John, Apostle and Evangelist Church in downtown St. Louis. Parishioners who support Archbishop Burke continue to celebrate the Mass in Polish there and the parish continues to thrive.
Many Catholics in the St. Louis Archdiocese have initially expressed support for the board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Parish. This was a result of an intensive media campaign conducted by the board of directors and their supporters. The main objective of the board seems to be to discredit Archbishop Burke, damage his reputation, and portray the parish community as a victim of his demands. Secular media not only disregarded the existence of parishioners supporting Archbishop Burke, but also distorted the truth about the background of the conflict. One such distortion relates to the fact that St. Stanislaus Kostka parishioners supporting Archbishop Burke refused to participate in January 9th voting which was orchestrated as another publicity exploit by the board of directors and its media advisers. Although the board and their spokesmen loudly attempt to portray themselves as representatives of St. Stanislaus parish community, in reality they represent only a group of supporters who choose to affirm them. This critical distinction was never made by the media.
Support for the Save St. Stans campaign mounted by the board of directors is provided from many sources interested in destroying the unity of the Roman Catholic Church. The campaign slogan became even a City of St. Louis mayoral race issue, when one of the candidates publicly expressed support for the board of directors, while acknowledging no affiliation with the Catholic Church. The public scandal caused by the board, which has been instrumental in swaying the opinions of many of its supporters, and of the general public, has created much pain in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and in the community at large.
Unfortunately, the campaign proved to be very persuasive in deflecting the attention of many parishioners, as well as the public, from fundamental principles of operating a faith-based community. These include the structure and authority of the Church, respect for law, and accountability to parishioners and the public at large. Over the last several years members of the board fostered a culture of blatant disrespect for the Church as well as for many members of the parish community. There is ongoing speculation about the reasons the board of directors changed corporate by-laws and assumed control over the parish finances. It is apparent that this situation exempted the board from the strict accountability required of all other parishes of the Roman Catholic Church. Contrary to public declarations, the board refused to conduct an independent financial audit by a certified public accountant, and to disclose details of parish operations, including procedures for awarding contracts and service agreements. The change of corporate bylaws was done with premeditation through amendments in 2001 and 2004. This itself is a clear violation of the original 1891 corporate bylaws, which explicitly state that corporation bylaws must be in conformance with diocesan rules, regulations and requirements.
A few months ago, members of our congregation published an Open Letter to Parishioners and Supporters of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish. The letter outlined details of the parish conflict, and expressed support for Archbishop Burke in his efforts to bring the parish structure into conformity with the governance model that is followed by all parishes in St. Louis diocese. These efforts were subsequently affirmed, and mandated, by the Vatican in its decree of November 11, 2004, rejecting the appeal against the Archbishop made on behalf of the board of directors. The full text of the open letter, as well as other documents related to this conflict, is available at the website of the Archdiocese of St. Louis: http://www.archstl.org/parishes/documents/st_stanislaus.html. Please contact us if you would like to receive a copy of our letter.
We are deeply concerned that the actions taken by the board of directors are clearly intended to weaken the authority of the Holy See and of Archbishop Burke. We reject the boards rhetoric comparing their role to that of Solidarity in the fight for the freedom of Poland. This comparison is simply insulting to many of us who are parishioners, and who personally participated in the fight for the freedom of Poland, and drew our strength and inspiration from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Resolution of this conflict will have a profound impact not only on the future of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish but on the entire Catholic community in the United States. We reject the notion of separating St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish from the Roman Catholic Church. We call on the board of directors of the parish civil corporation to stop the campaign of hostility and animosity towards the Catholic Church, and its leaders in Rome and in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, a campaign that knowingly, deliberately, and publicly has damaged seriously the unity of the Roman Catholic community.
None of us Roman Catholics in St. Louis Archdiocese should remain disinterested in this matter. This conflict is a test of our judgment as Catholics, a test of our ability to clearly comprehend the complexity of the situation, and of our courage to make a conscientious choice.
We appeal to all Catholics the in St. Louis Archdiocese to express strong support for Archbishop Burke in his efforts to resolve this matter. On the second Sunday of each month we invite you all to attend our monthly bi-lingual Mass of Solidarity with Archbishop Burke during which we will pray for the strength of our spiritual leaders, unity of the Catholic Church, and the future of our congregation. The first Mass of Solidarity will be celebrated on March 13th, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. at St. John, Apostle and Evangelist Church in Plaza Square in downtown St. Louis. We kindly ask for your support.
God Bless, ST. STANISLAUS KOSTKA PARISH ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Appeal Letter (PDF File)
One again, can you supply us with sources of proof for this?
Please understand that this letter was written for them ... not stating negatives, stating a fact. The intentions are unknown.
Yes, there is proof. Calling diocesan offices and asking for these individuals or the Polish Apostilate may help you assertain them.
With regard to the moving of the people to St. Agatha's, a formal announcement was made this past Friday http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/1ECA8B6882FEE33E86256FB400182886?OpenDocument&highlight=2%2CStanislaus
With regard to the number of parishioners ... there is a photo (doesn't appear to be 150-200) that is available at http://www.ksdk.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=75595
With regard to the diocese intentions ... oops, let one slip with the comment on keeping bank accounts fat at http://wb11tv.trb.com/news/kplr-news-022305-4,0,1511362.story?coll=kplr-news-1
This has nothing to do with infallibility, and if you're honest, you will admit that this is nothing but a red herring designed to confuse the issue.
Burke is given way too much credit for being holy and reverent in his actions. Did anyone ever think it was just an act, theatrics for attention, face time? Think about him ordaining a male that had a sex change operation in the Lacrosse diocese as a nun ... please there are many, many blatant inconsistencies in his actions.
You're reliance on the RFT as a source of journalistic integrity and truth would cause reasonable people to question one's ability to discern other truths and facts.
Whether the facts of the story you cite are true or not, it has no bearing on the issue of the rebellion of certain St. Stanislaus individuals. Lastly, attempting to impugn the character of Archbishop Burke by pointing out this story, is, objectively, either the serious sin of rash judgment, detraction or calumny. Perhaps, you might wish to prayerfully consider the following:
The Catechism states:
2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.
2479. Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.
Thanks for your input on this thread. It is enlightening. I hope you can resolve the situation to your benefit.
thor, check this quote out. The abuse of power is amazing.
You are soooo messed up, Mr.Bach. Are you kidding me?
First of all - why do yo even call yourself a Catholic? Besides arrogance and plain rudeness, you display unparallel level of ignorance. For you this conflict is not about who is right or wrong but it created an opportunity to feed your overinflated ego. Feels good, doesn't it - finally you have been noticed although for the previous 40 years as you claim no one ever saw you in the St.Stanislaus Kostka Church. But you had a nerve to stand up in front of cameras and lie you head off " This church is my entire life... I grew up in this church.."
As so called "Spokesperson" you fed media with made up lies, then you have a nerve to come to this forum and use what they write as an argument. Boy, you make my stomach turn. The good news is that in the end you will be treated accordingly. Peace be with you, my friend.
Unfortunately, I am not in St. Louis.....I am in the NYC area, and affiliated with the Archdiocese of NY, which has similar problems of its own.
I only know AB Burke through his much lauded appearances on EWTN. In my opinion - he made a wonderful performance.....a first class acting job! He has persuaded all that he is a "conservative" - whatever that much hackneyed phrase is supposed to mean nowadays.
So...Burke made a similar public display of his "conservatism" by participating in some pro-life activities? So have the "Groeschelites" (Franciscan Friars of the Renewal)........but nobody in their right mind (who knows of them)would seriously consider them to be Catholic, much less orthodox in faith & practice.
Talk is cheap. So are photo-ops. Any idiot can appear on EWTN, and seem "orthodox". Or perhaps by slpashing around a bit of Latin and what seem to be smatterings of tradition. Many are easily fooled by sich third rate actors.
Retired Bishop Timilin of Scranton, PA comes to mind.......readily worthy of a Golden Globe award to his performances.
Without being cruel, or overy critical of every little facet of a priest's life and personality - we must examine the whole person to see if he is truly orthodox. Not to catch him in sin, or chide him for past mistakes, but rather to see that what seems apparant on the surface, is what dwells within the heart.
My personal example of a real bishop - whom I met and dealt with face to face - was BP Austin Vaughn of NYC. He was a scholar, and a former seminary professor. But he was a decent & simple man. He did not merely give lip servie to the Pro-life cause for a photo-op, he lived it. He was jailed for it more times then I can remember. And did it all because he wanted to - because to the core of his being he believed in it.
One memory I have of him is at the funeral of a priest. I was informing him beforehand of the music to be used. It was to be the traditional Gregorian Requiem mass setting. His face lit up, and like a little child, with great glee he asked: "Credo in Unam Deo"? He wanted to sing the Creed in Latin. He was simple nad childlike in his faith - this clearly shown through him. He outclassed all his contemporaries in this regard. Because he truly was in love with God - and it showed.
I have no wasy of knowing AB Burke interiorly. But what I perceive is not the stuff of which the late Austin Vaughn was made of.
Burke - in my personal opinion - is cut from the same mold as Egan.
I know that Bp. Vaughn was one of the most courageous bishops we have had in recent years. Just yesterday I listened to his talk from a Fatima tape series from 1991.
You and I can both agree about Bishop Vaughn being a great Bishop and one whom we would follow into battle.
As an update for your consideration , Archbishop Burke has expanded the availability of the Latin Mass for those of us in the archdiocese. Requests made prior to his arrival here were denied. There was one Latin Mass in the archdiocese on Sunday at it was located in south St Louis City. It was some 40-45 miles for me. We now have the Institute of Christ the King and the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem in St. Louis, both of whom celebrate the Tridentine Mass, exclusively.
You should know that both the Prior of the Canons and the Superior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest speak so highly of Archbishop Burke that I cannot ignore them or their counsel.
You should also know that the late Fr. John Hardon personally selected Archbishop Burke to carry on his work of Director of the Marian Catechist Apostolate before he died. There is no other priest I would trust more than Fr. Hardon.
Although we should be cautious of placing too much in men, I can state categorically from my limited encounters with Archbishop Burke and from these and others that know him, that he is a very humble and holy servant of God.
I hope and pray that this may help you and others learn more about him and the good he is doing here in St. Louis.
"You should also know that the late Fr. John Hardon personally selected Archbishop Burke to carry on his work of Director of the Marian Catechist Apostolate before he died."
Perhaps he did. Perhaps he did not......or knew not the import of what he did. I am in no position to judge this.
But then we are also to believe that the late Fr. Paul Wickens personally, specificly, and knowingly chose Fr. John Perricone to succeed him at St. Anthony's Chapel in Orange, NJ, and wanted it to come under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Newark.
At least on that matter I can say: dream on!
Thank you for those kind and Christian words. What I do is for the church, St. Stanislaus and the Roman Catholic church. I will continue to fight for them regardless of smear and slime techniques ... the devil loves confusion and darkness ... I am here to fight against those.
Why do speak such pious platitudes and then proceed to point out the failures of one individual as an indictment of the entire order? Do you also feel this way about the Church which Christ founded, since He chose the betrayer Judas as one of the Twelve, or Peter who denied Him three times?
I remember that the Institute of Christ the King are from the Lacrosse diocese (Burke's old diocese and birthplace). In addition to this, they have been hit by the abuse scandals in Wisconsin by their leader's actions ...
Then, you remember incorrectly. I would even venture that you had never heard of the Institute until you read my last post. Would that be a fair and accurate deduction?
I only ask this because the Institute is not FROM the Diocese of La Crosse. The Institute was founded by two French priests in Italy and canonically erected in the African Diocese of Mouila. From Africa and Italy the Institute spread one after the other to France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, United States, Spain, and other countries. Link
Also in this case which you cite, both then-Bishop Burke and the Institute responded quickly:
[With regards to the illegal sex games perpetrated on an unwilling teenage boy]My concern is why bring them to St. Louis? There were priest performing Latin mass in St. Louis that were diocesan priests.
Fr. Timothy Svea, it should be noted that this incident was taken care of very swiftly. I was still in La Crosse at the time and I heard something was going on with this guy. I don't remember the timeline right now, but Bishop Burke learned of Svea's behavior from the Institute and immediately suspended his faculties. The Institute acted swiftly as well and got him out and he was handed over to a prosecutor in Wood County. This all happened in a matter of months.
This could have been extraordinarily embarrassing to then-Bishop Burke [now Archbishop of St. Louis]. He had closed St. Mary's Church in Wausau and merged the parish with another one in town. It was then purchased by someone really rich who has ties to Tridentine rite supporters and Bishop Burke brought the Institute in to have them minister to those who still desired that Mass. He did this against the wishes of the majority of his presbyterate. The situation was made worse for Bishop Burke when Svea, who was serving as superior, told the Presbyteral Council that he would not, even in case of extreme need, celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass. It could have happened, then, that both the Institute and Bishop Burke would try to cover up the situation to save their skins. But to their credits, they did not do that.
--Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz
Altura, Minnesota - - Source.
Does it make a difference who celebrates Mass?
Is not the same Sacrifice made present for us?
Did you ever attend Mass at St. Agatha's?
Why do you have a concern about it?
Does it affect you in any way?
Do not those who prefer the Latin Mass deserve consideration?
Perhaps, Archbishop Burke wishes to be obedient and abide by the Holy Father's request in Ecclesia Dei where he says:...respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.
We must be reading, not from completely different pages, but completely different books, from completely different worlds:
Over the course of time, the Catholic Church has been wont to revise and renew the laws of its sacred discipline so that, maintaining always fidelity to the Divine Founder, these laws may be truly in accord with the salvific mission entrusted to the Church. With this sole aim in view, we today, 25 January 1983, bring to fulfillment the anticipation of the whole Catholic world, and decree the publication of the revised Code of Canon Law. In doing so, our thoughts turn back to this same date in 1959, when our predecessor, John XXIII of happy memory, first publicly announced his personal decision to reform the current body of canonical laws which had been promulgated on the feast of Pentecost 1917.
This decision to renew the Code was taken with two others, of which that Pontiff spoke on the same day: they concerned his desire to hold a synod of the diocese of Rome and to convoke an Ecumenical Council. Even if the former does not have much bearing on the reform of the Code, the latter on the other hand, namely the Council, is of the greatest importance for our theme and is closely linked with its substance.
According to you, the Code was created and modified by those it protects (Do you means Bishops and priests?) and to "shore up" loopholes? Well, I did not get that from the Statement of Promulgation.
To intentionally misinform is TO LIE. If you do so, you show an intent to deceive. Continuing on at the same website that you link under the Statement of Promulgation: We recall, first of all, those Cardinals, now deceased, who headed the preparatory Commission, Cardinal Pietro Ciriaci who began the work, and Cardinal Pericles Felici who over a period of several years guided the labors almost to their goal. We think then of the Secretaries of this Commission, Monsignor, later Cardinal, Giacomo Violardo and Father Raimondo Bidagor S.J., both of whom lavished their talents of learning and wisdom on their role. Together with them, we recall the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops, and all who were members of this Commission as well as the Consultors of the individual study groups engaged over these years in that strenuous task. God has called these to their eternal reward in the meantime. For all of them our suppliant prayer is raised to God. With pleasure we also refer to the living: in the first place, to the present ProPresident of the Commission, our venerable brother Rosalio Castillo Lara, who has worked so outstandingly for so long in a role of such responsibility. Next, we refer to our beloved son, Monsignor William Onclin, who has contributed to the successful outcome of the task with assiduous and diligent care. Then there are others who played an inestimable part in this Commission, in developing and completing a task of such volume and complexity, whether as Cardinal members, or as officials, consultors and collaborators in the various study groups or in other roles.
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