It’s About Money … Or It Used To Be

The maverick priest hired by St Stanislaus Kostka Church in St Louis has been laicized. The target’s reaction?

We don’t recognize this unjust action, the same way we don’t recognize the excommunications.


They’ve killed me once. They can’t kill me twice.

If you remember, this was the St Louis parish that resisted two archbishops and the attempt to remove lay control from the Polish national community. What’s interesting is that Marek Bozek has advocated for women’s ordination, committed same-sex relationships and the option of married priests. I wonder how that sorts out on the ground in his parish. The link above indicates he does draw people looking for the sacramental sensibility.

Somewhat related is the issue of that Connecticut bill that would place financial control of Catholic parishes into the hands of the laity. I noticed one of the usual suspects is foaming at the mouth over it. I don’t get the connection to same-sex issues. There was that Connecticut priest who embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his parish to finance a life of sex and leisure. Lay people get pretty upset when bishops and priests mismanage resources. I suspect this Connecticut case, as St Stanislaus was originally, is mostly about money.

I read today where this bill has been withdrawn from consideration. Good. There is a principle of subsidiarity that should be applied here. There are lay people serving on the legal boards of these parishes. If there’s a question of inappropriate finances, the solution should be simple. One of the members calls a meeting and the necessary paperwork is pulled for examination. If a pastor is mismanaging money, there are civil ramifications and possible penalties. The bishop can simply appoint another priest of the diocese to cover the offender’s duties until the legal and canonical processes play themselves out.

The precedent is even set on the episcopal level. Co-adjutor bishops have been appointed when there is an investigation of the sitting bishop’s competence. Rome chooses to exercise this option when orthodoxy is in question. But a lay protest in a parish added to a well-founded and reasonable suspicion of a pastor’s mismanagement should be enough for a bishop to step in and use his authority.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to It’s About Money … Or It Used To Be

  1. Tony says:

    I don’t get the connection to same-sex issues.

    From what I gather, the two assemblymen who sponsored this legislation are openly gay and were in a tizzy because of the Church’s opposition to gay “marriage”.

    This bill appears to have been payback.

  2. Todd says:

    I read something along those lines, but I don’t believe everything I read. FOCA has taught me well.

    The legislators said the bill was written by angry parishioners of that Connecticut playboy priest. The connection there seems more direct.

  3. Jimmy Mac says:

    “Lay people get pretty upset when bishops and priests mismanage resources.” But usually only after the fact. Otherwise, “we can’t doubt Father’s honesty, can we?” I have been told by more than one source that most parish Finance Councils are peopled with “safe” members who trust Father and don’t ask a lot of questions. My mother-in-law belongs to a parish in which there have been 3 separate capital campaigns and after each, “Father” spends the money as he wishes. Then back to the well again. Some FCs only meet at the priest’s beck and call. The pastor is free to replace the FC members at will and to virtually ignore their guidance and counsel. And, sans incontravertible proof, do you really think that the Ordinary will investigate allegations of financial mismanagement on the part of a pastor? They are too hard to find anymore and a lot gets overlooked for the sake of expediency.

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