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St. Stanislaus Members Vote to Keep Money from Archdiocese

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church
St. Stanislaus in north St. Louis City (KWMU photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in north St. Louis have again voiced opposition to Archdiocese demands that they give up more than $9 million in church assets.

By a wide margin Sunday, parishioners voted to give church assets to an organization other than the St. Louis Archdiocese in the event that the parish is dissolved.

Church member Roger Krasnicki is advising the parish board of directors. He says dissolution is not likely at this point. "It's a strange coincidence that when we were in ruin, we couldn't get the archdiocese to support us fixing up the church," Krasnicki said Sunday. "But you come and look at us today, and now they seem to want this."

Archbishop Raymond Burke has said the church will lose its priest if it doesn't give up control of the money. He says under canon law, the arrangement is illegal. A lay board of directors has controlled parish assets for more than a century.

Parishioners also say the Archdiocese is not allowing them to add new members because of the dispute. Edward Hamm says he tried to join St. Stanislaus recently, but was turned away.

"If you want something to fail, then you don't permit additional members to join the parish," Hamm said Sunday. "And then it actually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, that the parish doesn't have enough members to be a viable parish.

An archdiocesan spokesman declined to comment.