The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church invites all in the St. Louis Christian community to unite behind St. Stanislaus parish as it struggles to continue to provide our faith-filled Polish-American neighbors with their traditional place of worship, fellowship, and prayer. We share the sadness expressed by Archbishop Burke that conflict over possessions has added to the damage to our Catholic leadership caused by other problems.

We call upon Archbishop Burke to relate to St. Stanislaus parish within the traditional Catholic principle of subsidiarity, which requires that the smaller community decide on and administer all its own affairs for which it has capability. This was most recently advocated by Pope John Paul II:

"This is nothing other than the principle of subsidiarity, which requires that a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its rightful functions; instead the higher order should support the lower order and help it to coordinate its activity with that of the rest of society, always with a view to serving the common good (cf. Centesimus Annus, 48 [May 1, 1991]).
Public opinion needs to be educated in the importance of the principle of subsidiarity for the survival of a truly democratic society."

"Message of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Participants in the Sixth Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences"

In the case of St. Stanislaus parish, the past century of effective stewardship is overwhelming evidence that they have exercised exemplary stewardship in their parish affairs. Consequently, it is an offense against the principle of subsidiarity to attempt to override their well-working structures.

We recommend that the good people of St. Stanislaus once again approach the Archbishop with a legally enforceable and acceptable arrangement which will establish the right of St. Stanislaus to continue to exist as a viable and faithful Catholic parish community, and to welcome Fr. Marek Bozek as their pastor.

We urge the Archbishop to build upon the spirit of good will that he has brought to St. Louis and ease this wound to the Body of Christ which appears to be deepening rather than healing. The whole nation is watching this painful struggle in St. Louis and we call Archbishop Burke to demonstrate, in the spirit of Second Vatican Council, that Church belongs to the people, rather than the people to the Church.

In the Vineyard
December 15, 2005
Volume 4, Issue 18
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