In the Matter of the Reverend Marek Boguslaw Bozek
Whereas I have diligently examined and considered all and each of the indications [indicia] and proofs, which have been assembled and certified in the acts of the case in question, and which have been lawfully presented before me in the extra-judicial penal process held regarding the Reverend Marek Boguslaw Bozek of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Corporation, domiciled at 1413 North Twentieth Street in the City of Saint Louis, with the postal code of 63106-3256, who has been accused of having committed the following canonical delicts:
1) Protracted contumacy in schism (cf. can. 1364, s.2);
2) Pertinacious rejection of the Church’s doctrine, referenced in can. 750, s.2, infallibly set forth, that women cannot validly receive the Sacrament of Ordination to the Priesthood; and refusal to retract the rejection of Church doctrine after due admonition by myself as Ordinary (cf. can. 1371, para. 1);
3) Simony (cf. can. 1380);
4) Prohibited participation in sacred rites [communicatio in sacris] (cf. can. 1365);
5) Simulation of the administration of a sacrament, apart from the cases treated in can. 1378 (cf. can. 1379);
6) Usurpation of an ecclesiastical office (cf. can. 1381, s.1);
7) Illegitimate exercise of the priestly ministry (cf. can. 1384);
8) The external violation of divine or canon law, which because of its special gravity demands punishment, and which is coupled with the urgent need to prevent and repair scandal (cf. can. 1399); and
9) Public incitement of the subjects of the Apostolic See or an Ordinary to animosity or hatred toward the Apostolic See or an Ordinary because of some act of ecclesiastical power or ministry, and the provoking of the same subjects to disobedience against the Apostolic See or an Ordinary (cf. can. 1373).
Therefore, after having weighed all of the proofs and the arguments with two assessors (cf. can. 1720, s. 2), with only God before my eyes, I, by this my definitive sentence, consigned to writing, declare and pronounce, by my lawful exercise of jurisdiction, the quality and preponderance of the proofs, which are extant in the acts of the case, and with moral certitude (cf. can. 1608, s.1), that the Reverend Marek Boguslaw Bozek is guilty of having committed all of the delicts in nos. 2 through 9 above. Furthermore, by this my definitive sentence, I declare that the same delicts are fully imputable to the Reverend Bozek by reason of malice (cf. can. 1321, ss. 1-3), without exempting or mitigating circumstances (cf. cann. 1323-1324), within the time limits established by the Code of Canon Law, concerning both criminal (cf. can. 1362, ss. 1-2) and penal (cf. cann. 1363, ss. 1-2; and 1720, para. 3) actions, and, therefore, are fully punishable.
Wherefore, with respect to the same Reverend Bozek, I declare and pronounce the following:
Firstly, with respect to the accusation that he has committed the delict of protracted contumacy in schism (cf. can. 1364, s. 2), I hereby decree and provide that said accusation against the Reverend Bozek be remanded to be heard and decided immediately, not by means of an extra-judicial penal process and decree, but by means of the ordinary judicial penal process, so that the expiatory penalty of dismissal from the clerical state may be considered (cf. cann. 1336, s.1, para. 4; 1425, s.1, para. 2; and 1364, s.2). The Promoter of Justice of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis is hereby ordered to present to the Judicial Vicar of the Metropolitan Tribunal, as soon as is possible, the libellus of accusation against the Reverend Bozek for the commission of the delict of protracted contumacy in schism.
Secondly, that, because the Reverend Bozek has been found guilty of the most grave delict of simony, a crime committed against the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:18), any convention, lease, contract, quasi-contract, hiring, loan, or other agreement, even if only tacit or evidenced from circumstances, by which any monetary increase, benefit, assumption of debt, pension, insurance, legal service, or temporal advantage has been or will be provided in compensation for or in recognition of the celebration of a Sacrament by the Reverend Bozek is hereby declared to be null, utterly void, and unenforceable because it is contrary to Divine Law and the sacred canons (cf. cann. 1290; and 1333, s. 4; Codex Iuris Canonici Pio-Benedictinus, cann. 727-729; and Decree of the Holy Office, 2 March 1679, n. 45 [DS, n. 2145]). Any baptized Catholic who is party to, directs, engages in, votes for, or authorizes the creation or execution of any of the aforementioned simoniacal conduct commits that most abhorrent sin against the Holy Spirit and is, thereby, deprived of good standing in the Catholic Church and imperils the eternal salvation of his soul.
Thirdly, by reason of having committed all of the eight delicts indicated in nos. 2 through 9 above, the Reverend Bozek is to be punished by the imposition of the following penalties:
1) The mandatory penalty of a ferendae sententiae interdict;
2) The just ferendae sententiae penalty of restitution of all monies and material benefits, received by the Reverend Bozek, to their baptized and non-baptized contributors alike, as a result of the nullity, in both Divine and Canon Law, of any of the above-mentioned types of convention, which is claimed to exist between the Reverend Bozek and the St. Stanislaus Kostka Corporation, or any other juridical or physical person, or third party.
Fourthly, and finally, for having attempted to concelebrate the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist with individuals not possessing valid Holy Orders or Apostolic Succession, the Reverend Bozek is hereby denounced to the Holy See, so that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may exercise its reserved jurisdiction over the apparent commission of this added crime.
Wherefore, the Reverend Bozek is hereby notified that, if he desires to file recourse against this decree, he is required, for validity, to submit a petition to the undersigned for the revocation or revision of the same decree and sentence, within ten useful days from publication of this same decree (cf. can. 1734, ss. 1-2).
So that all may know the contents of the present canonical decree, I order that this decree be published in the next edition of the St. Louis Review, which official publication of the Archbishop of Saint Louis, in accord with the particular legislation issued at Saint Louis, on the ninth day of November in the Year of the Lord 20078, constitutes notification by edict and execution of this my definitive Decree and Sentence.
Issued and read, at Saint Louis, on the fifth day of March in the Year of the Lord 2008.
(Most. Rev.) Raymond L. Burke
Archbishop of St. Louis
(Rev. Msgr.) Henry J. Breier
First, the necessary judicial process of laicization (“dismissal from the clerical state,” or “degradation” as it used to be called, military style) has begun. As mentioned above, this is a full-fledged canonical trial where Bozek will have the right to even more due process and canonical counsel (he never was denied it, despite what Bozek rails, as is clear from facts stated in the Decree). He will have the right to examine evidence against him. He will have the right to present evidence before a panel of three judges. He has the right to seek recourse from an adverse decision in that case, as he does for the extra-judicial adjudication against him published today. This is the process that Bozek has complained does not even “pretend” to be fair. On the one hand he complains, on the other, he fails even to appear in Court in order to defend himself! I guess it doesn’t pretend to be fair, because it is fair.
Second, Bozek is guilty of rejection of an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church– the definitive teaching that women cannot be validly ordained. He cannot credibly maintain his position that this teaching is not infallible. A finding of denial of a second paragraph truth under canon 750 requires that he be admonished to retract his position. He was so admonished, presumably at the February hearing where the media circus gathered.
Third, simony is an ugly word for an ugly crime. In the Acts of the Apostles, Simon Magus was struck dead for seeking to buy spiritual goods for money. It is highly ironic that a person who plays the predictable “I’m the new Martin Luther” card is found guilty of simony.
Note the language of the decree that any convention (any agreement) lease (BMW?, apartment?), contract (negotiations with the Board for a new one?), hiring (rent-a-priest) and other such things that give him a monetary increase (big raise coming?), that involves assumption of debt (lease again, note on house?) pension, insurance, retirement (perquisites),legal services (big fee for hurried visas?) or any other temporal benefit to Bozek (pretty broad language here) are null and utterly void.
Note, also, that the Archbishop has imposed a penalty of restitution to all those who have given money to Bozek, the Board, the corporation, including donors and, seemingly, third parties to contracts. OUCH. I wonder who will be seeking money from the Board first, and where it will end. There may be some members of the former parish who will want to get back some of the money they feel was given by them under false pretenses.
Archbishop Burke lets baptized Catholics know that anyone who temporally (money, gifts, anything material in exchange for his celebration of sacraments) supports Bozek in the criminal conduct of his sacramental “ministry” commits mortal sin and endangers his soul. It is time to awake from sleep, people.
Fourth, a word is necessary regarding the finding that Bozek usurped an ecclesiastical office. He was hired by the Board in 2005 before the parish was suppressed. At the time of hire, St. Stan’s was still a Catholic parish. Bozek usurped the office of pastor; he was not duly appointed by the Archbishop, and thus this charge is established.
Fifth, the external violation of Divine or Canon Law that is especially grave and demands punishment, in and of itself, and also because of the need to address scandal, refers to the women’s ordination thing, no doubt, but could it also have other bases? It requires more information, I think, so I won’t hazard any guesses.
Sixth, as for inciting hatred for the Apostolic See and the Ordinary, and for provoking disobedience of them, well that seems as evident a charge as can be.
Finally, the penalty of interdict is a mandatory one for the offenses cited; it is noteworthy that the interdict is imposed ferendae sententiae, by positive order. Bozek has already incurred excommunication latae sententiae, or automatically, for schism.
In a perfect world, this decree would finally make Bozek realize what he has done and spur him to repentance. In a reasonably decent world, it would completely discredit him in the eyes of the general public, especially among Catholics. We shall see. I’ll monitor the fallout.
Catholics in St. Louis and across the country should be very grateful to God for an Archbishop who shows such zealous care for the flock entrusted to his care. Pray for His Grace, that he will receive the protection and guidance of Our Lady and all the angels and saints.
Two more observations: 1) now we know why Bozek has hidden the nature of charges against him, even from the St. Stan’s congregation. You’ll remember that in the many, many, many press conferences and interviews, he never related the most serious allegations. The women’s ordination matter only came out after he was caught with laying his hands on the cookie jar, so to speak.
Which leads again to the conclusion that the media have given him a completely free pass, electing instead to engage in good old-fashioned Archbishop bashing.