Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Good Deal for Saint Stanislaus Church

IN A LAWSUIT filed in the City of Saint Louis, the Archdiocese is seeking that the Saint Stanislaus Corporation recognize its original 1891 charter.  If the suit is successful, the church will once again be a Catholic parish. The Archdiocese will supply the church with a Polish priest from the Society of Jesus, and the controversy will be settled.  This sounds like a good deal to me:  members of the church get to keep their buildings, while also having a priest in good standing with the Catholic Church.

Click here for the petition.

Unlike other churches in the Archdiocese, Saint Stanislaus Church was organized as a separate corporation, governed by a board of directors, and headed by a priest assigned by the Archdiocese. More commonly in the United States, parish churches are owned by the diocese. This kind of organization was expedient in the days of the church's founding in 1891, but led to the current controversy.   The current lawsuit recognizes this old status quo, and does not seek the reorganization of the parish's property.  It was widely believed that this church was to be among many others that were to be closed in 2005, and that a change of ownership was the first step in this process.

While demographic changes had led to the closure of many urban and even suburban churches in the Archdiocese, it was first and foremost the lack of priests which made the situation critical. Priests in this diocese are generally worked very hard, and the many new seminarians may eventually ease this burden.

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