Saint Louis Catholic recently spoke with Roger Krasnicki, attorney and former advisor to the St. Stanislaus Kostka Board of Directors. He consented to an interview on the Bozek situation and his attempt to convince the Board to remove him as pastor of that Church.
I stated at the outset of our conversation that this blog has been critical of the actions of the Board, and of Mr. Krasnicki, in the dispute with the Archbishop over the proper administration of the former parish. I also gave my opinion that the fiasco of Fr. Bozek’s leadership there is one consequence, intended or not, of the actions of the Board. In other words, I did not wish to be a hypocrite and pretend that there is no longer a disagreement over many substantive issues. That being said, the effort to remove Bozek is a necessary and beneficial one to all Catholics, whatever their opinion on the original dispute. With that understanding, Mr. Krasnicki agreed to be interviewed for publication here.
In light of the above, excerpts from this interview that relate to Fr. Bozek and Mr. Krasnicki’s effort to lobby the Board to remove him appear below. The conversation began with the decision to hire Bozek. According to Krasnicki, Bozek did not begin to advocate his “vision for the Church” until after his immigration status was resolved:
Q: I was wondering about that.
A: [Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau] Leibrecht notified the USCIS that his employment was terminated and therefore he’s out. Well they notified him that they were going to send him back to Poland. And the parish Board of Directors spent I guess close to $80,000 working with [a local law firm]. And so, they got him back into the country—he went over and got his visa, came back and everything was o.k.
Q: You weren’t claiming 501(c)(3) under the Archdiocese anymore, were you?
A: No, the Diocese notified us that it had notified the service that we were off the chart. We then went out and applied for a 501(c)(3) and got it. So we’ve had that—it was a matter of days—we anticipated that happening. And then no sooner than he gets his green card he starts making announcements about his different beliefs and open communion and all this stuff.
Q: Would he do this at Mass?
Q: How long ago did he start to manifest that kind of agenda?
A: I guess it’s been a year, maybe a little more. You know, there were hints of that before.
Q: I suppose the questions about why he left the seminary were known, and that was why you questioned him?
A: Yeah. And anyway, and some people, including myself, who thought I was pretty smart, we found ourselves with this snake. And unfortunately there were two members of the Board—the two senior members of the Board—the chairman and the treasurer who are father-in-law and son-in-law—really pushed for Father’s agenda. Whether they pushed for the agenda or not, they pushed for him. And they had an opportunity to get rid of him. The Board voted, we had a meeting at one of their homes—
Q: When was this?
A: It was late June or early July of 2007. I presented a case to them and they had been in discussion with their outside attorney as well and we all came to the conclusion that he should be fired—including the canon lawyer. It was put in the hands of the chairman to do it and he never did. Nothing happened, and then I started to get terribly irritated.
Q: Were you still the attorney for the Board then?
A: I was still the attorney for the Board and an advisor to them.
Q: And you were never a member of the Board?
A: I was never a member of the Board. And then, it just got so out of hand that I resigned. It was September 27th.
Q: Every time they show a report about the Church on the news they inevitably show that Christmas Eve 2005 Mass. How many people do you really believe attend Mass there on Sundays?
A: That really attend there on Sunday? Maybe about 200 at all three Masses.
Q: You mean combined?
Q: O.K. So if you added up all the people at all three Masses you’d get 200?
Q: And of that number what percentage were members of the historic Polish parish?
A: Percentage-wise? You know, it is kind of hard to say right now. The percentage has shrunk a great deal. But there might be 20 percent, 25 percent now.
But anyway, that brings us up to pretty close where we are now. I resigned, and I told the Board of Directors that they were the most spineless bunch of people I ever met in not doing anything. But they are so overwhelmed with their newfound popularity.
A: Now there are two directors who have stood steadfast against them: Bob Zabielski and Stan Rosanski. And these guys have gotten insulted and ignored, but they are only two of seven—there are six lay directors and the priest.
Q: He has a voting role?
A: He does have a right to vote, yeah.
Q: Now Bozek, is he still hearing confessions, do you know?
A: As far as I know, yes. He’s given last rites in the last couple of weeks, to a couple of people.
Q: And what about marriages?
A: Marriages, you know, quite a few. I think he says he’s done something like 200—I can’t be held to that number, but I think that’s what he said yesterday.
Q: Is he confirming anybody?
A: He did confirm some people, yes.
Q: How many?
A: Maybe a half a dozen.
Q: From the time you mention he started advancing his agenda, would he say these things in the homily, or is it something he’s doing behind the scenes, or both.
A: Both. He’s been very open about the confirmations, the weddings.
Q: There seems to be some level of coordination between Bozek and that womanpriest crowd. That scene from yesterday—that’s how they work it. They show up in force in places and they make it look like there is this groundswell of popular support. They’re not interested in logic.
Q: In light of what’s happening with Bozek, and that there are a large number of disaffected parishioners obviously, do you think that if you went back to the Archdiocese with [a proposal for settlement] it might be met with a better reception?
A: Honestly, I doubt it. I would like it to happen.
Q: In light of everything that’s happened, you might get enough votes to oust Bozek.
A: You know, we don’t need a vote of the parish to do that. The Board has to get the spine to do it.
Q: The one quote that bugged me the most from that channel 2 story was when you were talking and they were telling you to go to some other parish—and you said, you go to some other parish. These are the inclusive people, yet if you don’t like the inclusive people they tell you to jump in a lake.
A: Exactly. You know, I will publicly say– and I have said but they just haven’t published it—I am very remorseful for what I’ve done. I feel terrible. I feel that my actions have led to this by bringing this idiot in, and I feel great responsibility for it.
Q: It is good to hear you say that. The readers of my blog tend to be pretty traditional, and I think that might go a long way.
A: I would say it to the Archbishop or anybody. I’ve shed—excuse me—a lot of tears over this. A lot.
Q: What do think is Bozek’s agenda, assuming laicization takes place? What is he going to do, where will he go for his Bishop, his orders and all of that?
A: Well, he has told members of the Board that he has two Bishops that are willing to incardinate him. One is Emmanuel Milingo, you know, the Moonie. The other one is Philip Zimmerman of the Reformed Catholic Church in Texas. Now he prefers Milingo.
Q: Of course. Anything goes in sexual matters.
A: Yeah, and the thing with Milingo, also, that troubles me and I said yesterday is that there is indisputable evidence of his willingness to violate Roman dogma. And Bozek swears he’s with all the dogma.
Q: He’s playing a dangerous game there because he’s claiming the teaching against the ordination of women doesn’t rise to the level of infallibility but that’s wrong.
A: Be that as it may, the point I want to make is Milingo subscribes to Moon. And Moon has said that he has been told directly by God that he is here to accomplish those things that Jesus failed to do. Now, Jesus is true God and true Man. God doesn’t make mistakes. God doesn’t fail to finish anything.
Q: Don’t you think that’s the same thing Bozek is saying when he says that his message will make the Church more Christ-like and do things in a more Christian way as though Christ wasn’t capable of setting up His Church to do that?
A: Right. You know, I never thought of it that way. That’s the hand and the glove.
Q: Milingo, that’s huge. He said that, he said the name Milingo?
A: Yeah, I got it from him—one of the directors got it from him and emailed it to me.
Q: There was speculation out there that he might go with the PNCC, but they don’t allow the ordination of women.
A: Oh, the PNCC wouldn’t have him.
Q: And the Utrecht crowd?
A: That would be Zimmerman. The PNCC is no longer in the Union of Utrecht. My father and grandparents were PNCC, on my father’s side of the family. And the latest statement of union from them and the statement from the Vatican that they are considering bringing the PNCC back, that there are no dogmatic differences, as a sister church as in the [Maronite] rite is very encouraging. Be that as it may, the people don’t want the PNCC. They want Bozek—
Q: They want all the cachet of being Catholic.
Q: When they’re not.
A: Yeah. Bozek is painting them with the same heretical brush that he is painting himself with.
Q: The meeting on Sunday concerned some questions about how the Board was using Church assets with regard to Bozek. What is the situation with the vehicle?
A: He had a BMW on lease when he came up here, and the Board continued the lease. Later, they leased him a new BMW without a vote of the full Board.
Q: And does he live in the rectory?
A: He has been wanting to get out of the rectory for a long time, so there have been negotiations with him to give him a bigger salary, instead of the previous one that included room and board. Within the last couple of weeks, Bozek has turned down as insufficient a salary of approximately $58,000.
Q: What was the arrangement in the past?
A: The salary had been about $19,000, but it also included room, board, expenses, retirement and health insurance.
Q: What is the status of his residence now?
A: In addition to Bozek wanting to leave the rectory, it is also the case that the school, which is becoming dilapidated, had to be torn down. The Board thought they could use the rectory for storage and classrooms. Originally, the Board and Bozek identified a two bedroom apartment on 5th Street near the Church, but Bozek turned that down. Later, a son of one of the Board members, who is a real estate agent, found a townhouse near 18th & Cass. Due to possible conflict of interest, the matter was temporarily dropped, and I don’t know the current status.
Q: What is the latest you have heard about Bozek’s plans?
A: I have learned that he plans a press conference at the Polish Heritage Center (PHC) at 11:00 or 12:00 on March 5th to make a “major” announcement. This obviously means that he will not be meeting with Abp. Burke. He has done this without the authorization or approval of the Board. Bob Zabielski and Stan Rozanski were surprised and dismayed by my report of this to them. Further, it is reported that he will allow only those with Press credentials to attend. Convenient, eh? He has no authority whatsoever to restrict anyone from coming to the PHC. More battle lines are drawn. From a different and reliable source, I’ve learned that not only has he purchased a bishop’s cross and ring (which I have personally seen) but he has now purchased a crosier for himself!