St. Stanislaus parishioners vote not to rejoin Archdiocese

10:56 PM, Aug 8, 2010   |    comments
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St. Stanislaus parishioners vote not to rejoin Archdiocese

Several years ago, they were stripped of their standing as a Roman Catholic Church. But Sunday, parishioners at St. Stanislaus Kosta, voted not to accept an offer to come back to the fold.

Members say they want to make sure their church, priest and their Polish heritage can be protected.

They say with this offer, there was simply too much uncertainty.

58-percent say they're not ready to reconcile with the Catholic Archdiocese.

58-percent say they're not ready to reconcile with the Catholic Archdiocese.

Parishioner Diane Daley says, "I think the message to the Archbishop is leave us alone."

This was a message for the current Archbishop. But it was the previous one who ceased to recognize St. Stanislaus as a real Catholic church after a dispute over its charter.

Parishioner Donna Nachefski says, "He said we no longer existed. So we had to go find our own priest and do it ourselves and that's what we did."

But now, this latest offer from the Archbishop would have allowed St. Stanislaus to keep control of their property and assets, while allowing the Archdiocese to control daily operations.

For church members, it wasn't enough.

They wanted guarantees, that they could keep a Polish speaking priest and that they wouldn't ultimately be shut down.

Nachefski says, "We feel that this agreement is full of too many ifs. That's what our concern is."

Father Marek Bozek, who has led St. Stanislaus in recent years despite his own ex-communication says, "For the Archdiocese to convince us to trust them again, takes more than just a legal letter on two pages saying you know give me a try. Be more personal, be more pastoral. Come and talk to us. Show us you have a heart, not only a legal team behind you."

Archbishop Robert Carlson issued a statement saying he's disappointed by the vote. But he adds, he remains committed to working toward a resolution.

And there are some parishioners who say they're ready for the Catholic confusion to end.

Robert Kasza says, "We really don't know what's going on with the church. That's the reason I don't come to the church for over a year."

And in a controversial move, he says that year away, meant he wasn't allowed to vote.

But for the majority, this vote was cause for celebration. At least for now, St. Stanislaus will remain independent in terms of both finances and faith.

Diane Daley says, "This is my home. I love this church. And I'm so glad that the vote went the way that we wanted it to."

Both sides say negotiations will likely continue. And if not, this may all be decided in the courts. The Archdiocese filed a lawsuit in 2008, but a trial date has not yet been set.



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