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Thursday, April 28, 2011
Religion ...

I did a Google search on Father Marek Bozek recently to follow up on the blog entry that I wrote about him back in August. Looks as though the court will rule any day now as to whether the Archdiocese of St. Louis has the contractual power to boot Bozek from St. Stanislaus, the renegade Catholic parish on the outskirts of the Gateway City. Keep an eye out, we should be seeing more headlines about the situation rather soon.

I also saw some dirt about Bozek on a traditionalist Catholic web site; turns out that he was hedging his bets even before the Archbishop de-frocked him back in 2009. He was already a member of the Moonie-supported “Married Priest Now” group, and also became a recognized priest in the Reformed Catholic Church, a relatively small schism group. Yea, that does make him seem a bit “restless”, and perhaps he is a bit of a loose canon. But as dirt goes these days, that ain’t exactly a Richter scale 7 earthquake.

What is more interesting is that St. Stanislaus is not the only breakaway Catholic parish out there right now. There appear to be at least two others with similar stories, one in Cleveland (St. Peters parish) and one in Rochester, NY (a church called Spiritus Christi). Oh, and there’s one in Australia too, “St. Marys in Exile”, in South Brisbane. Well, so far that makes four in the English-speaking world.

Again, not exactly earth-shaking, not quite like the religious revolution that Luther lit up back in the 1520s and 30s. But something to keep an eye on – a couple of hundred Catholics who made the changeover from being standard Catholic parishioners to breakaway sect members, right in their own hometown churches. People who have been taught that what they are doing will condemn them to hell. And yet they keep on doing it, using traditional Catholic liturgy and values (but with some tweeks that are more in keeping with Episcopal or Protestant ecclesiology).

Is this just a little hickup in Church history, or the start of something big? And if revolution were to come of it, will it be positive? We can’t even begin to guess right now. And that’s what makes it so interesting!

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:29 pm      

  1. Jim, Seems there tends to be more and more of this kind of thing as time goes on. In Chicago there is currently a dispute between the archbishop and the pastor of St. Sabina’s, Fr. Pfleger. The bishop has told Pfleger he’s out as pastor, and Pfleger has politely refused to go. Thus, the bishop has suspended all of Pfleger’s priestly orders. (Admittedly, I simplify this conflict here, but basically, I’ve got the crux of the situation.)

    I’ve noticed that most of these disputes that result in schisms are the result of problems between the bishop and the priest involved over money and/or power. (I should note that what happens with Pfleger, St. Sabina’s, and the bishop remains for the other shoe to drop at this point.) And it seems to me that B16 has made his point early on when he made it clear that he’d sooner have a “smaller” church than give in to anybody who will not follow, or who will dispute, the power of the hierarchy. (After all, there are a whole lot of other countries in the East, in the South, and in Africa who are only too willing to acknowledge the power of the hierarchy. Who cares about the European and American “part” of the church?)

    So, it seems to me that we see where the real interest in the hierarchy is–keeping their power intact. Or so it seems to me. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — April 29, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  2. Dear Jim, I have reread your comments and am convinced that the Catholic Church’s hiearchy keeps common, hopeful Catholics from ever experiencing the true love of God for them and their lives.I have known or read about so many priests who have succumbed to the temptations of money and or sexual indiscretions that it amazes me that the average parishener never had the courage to open their mouths and their minds to recognize that the priests are as human as they are. The need to be taken care of intellectually and/or emotionally seems to be inherent within not only the Catholic Church but throughout religion as a whole. What results are people with arrested development who can’t think for themselves and are emotionally and intellectually fixated at a young level of development. The psychoanalyst Erick Erickson I think hit upon this clearly in his eight stages of develoment of the Human personality.I am no expert, however I have lived through a human cycle and I find that to go on to a level of maturity, either spiritually or intectually or even emotionally, requires thoroughly understanding the family of origen one emerged from and the culture one came out of. I am still digesting this in my own life at the age of fifty-four. After a good jump start in life, I was thrown into a pit that had me wonder how Catholics ever grew up at all. I spent a few years with the Jesuits out in Scranton Pennsylvania and years later, I recognize that they gave me some intellectual strength but very little awarenss of the fragility of life and almost an arrogance that kept a true seeker from finding the God of Hope and Love.. I do know now that the problem of pain and sin is real.fp, enough verbiage for now!

    Comment by frank penotti — May 2, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

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