Archbishop Burke seeks disciplinary action against rebel priest

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St. Louis , Mar. 5, 2008 (CWNews.com) – Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis has announced that he will pursue the laicization of a priest who now heads a breakaway Polish parish.

The announcement on March 5 after Father Marek Bozek refused to attend a scheduled midday meeting. The archbishop had summoned Father Bozek to answer complaints about his unauthorized activity at St. Stanislaus Church. The priest’s refusal to attend the meeting was a “further act of contempt for the requirements of communion with the Church,” the archbishop said.

Father Bozek, a priest of the neighboring Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese, came to St. Stanislaus parish without ecclesiastical approval after the lay board of that parish had broken with the St. Louis archdiocese. Archbishop Burke, after trying without success to bring the parish into line with archdiocesan policies, announcement the excommunication of the lay board and of Father Bozek.

Since his arrival at the rebellious parish, Father Bozek has caused further concern in the archdiocese by participating in a ceremony in which two women claimed ordination as Catholic priests. Archbishop Burke says that he wanted to meet with the priest because of his ” deep pastoral concern for him and the faithful whom he is leading away from the Church.”

Father Bozek, however, called a press conference just before the scheduled March 5 meeting to announce that he would not speak with the archbishop. “I will not subject myself any longer to this process, which does not even attempt to appear fair,” he said.

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