The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)
Our hearts ache for the caring parishioners at St. Stan's. Their real crime, in the eyes of the hierarchy, is refusing to bow to a ruthless archbishop.
It's very telling that Burke excommunicates well-intentioned lay people but hasn't ever even tried to excommunicate a single pedophile priest or even discipline a single corrupt church supervisor.
This case shows, just like Jason Berry's documentary 'Vows of Silence' shows, there's no real justice in the Vatican's so-called 'justice system.'
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)
ST. LOUIS -- The Vatican has upheld St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke's 2005 declaration of excommunication of the Stanislaus Six, the six lay members of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church board who refused to turn over church property and assets to the archdiocese.
The board members were declared excommunicated after they hired a priest — the Rev. Marek Bozek — who had been suspended by his own bishop in the diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.
Bozek, who was made a member of the St. Stan's board, was also declared excommunicated by Burke, and the rejection of the board's appeal also includes his excommunication, according to the archdiocese.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rejected the board's appeal of the excommunications, writing in a decree dated May 15, 2008, that "it is evident that the Board Members have committed the delict of schism by constituting St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish as an independent entity capable of appointing its own clergy apart from the hierarchy of the Church."
"In a gradual process the parish has been removed from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary," the Congregation's prefect, Cardinal William Levada continued. "This can be seen as an expression of the refusal of the members of the Board to subject themselves to the lawfully constituted Ecclesiastical authority."
Schism, the canoncial offense that triggered the excommunications, is defined in the Catechism and the Code of Canon law as "the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."
Catholic law says that only a bishop can appoint priests to parishes.
The board members were given 30 days to appeal the Vatican's ruling.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests