Catholics Take Feud To Court

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – Members of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church are asking a judge to restore the parish according to its 1891 bylaws in a fight that started when the former Archbishop demanded changes in the St. Stanislaus church’s 100-year-old financial rules and excommunicated the board members when they refused.

     Six current and former members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church asked a judge to restore the structure of the parish according to its 1891 bylaws, so the St. Stanislaus board would control the property and assets while the archbishop appoints board members and a pastor. If accepted, St. Stanislaus would be unlike any other church in the St. Louis Archdiocese.
     The tension began in 2004, when the archdiocese demanded St. Stanislaus conform to the same legal and financial structure as the other churches in the archdiocese. The church’s leaders refused to change the management structure that had been in place for more than 100 years. Former Archbishop Raymond Burke responded by removing the pastors and excommunicating members of the St. Stanislaus board.
     The plaintiffs also ask for an injunction prohibiting St. Stanislaus members from electing new board members, using church funds, altering or removing church records and removing sacred items from the church until a ruling on the bylaws is made. The plaintiffs are represented by Bernard Huger.

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