St. Louis Parishioners Warned of Schism

United Press International

August 11, 2008

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- A St. Louis bishop has warned eight parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church they are supporting a possible schism in the Catholic Church.

Bishop Robert Hermann, the Archdiocese of St. Louis' interim leader, informed the parishioners seeking positions on the church's lay board their actions constituted a formal breach of union in the church, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Monday.

"You are in danger of losing the eternal salvation of your soul, jeopardizing the salvation of other innocent faithful and inflicting a most severe wound to the communion of the Roman Catholic church," Hermann wrote in a letter to those involved.

Church law currently defines a schism as "the refusal of submission to the Roman pontiff or of communion with the members of the church subject to him."

The religious conflict stems from a 2005 dispute over the hiring of the Rev. Marek Bozek to serve as the church's pastor.

The Post-Dispatch said then-St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke excommunicated board members for their decision and attempts to remove the pastor by a board vote have failed.


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