Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
May 15, 2008
On March 23, 2006, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received documentation regarding the recourse presented by the Board Members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. This recourse was sought against Your Excellency’s decrees of 15 December 2005 in which you had imposed the censure of excommunication on each member of the Board because of their persistence in a schismatic act.
This Dicastery, after a careful study of the entire Acta and in light of the arguments presented by both parties, has determined to reject the recourse presented by the Board Members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and to confirm the decrees of 15 December 2005 issued by Your Excellency. This decision is based on the fact that those bringing the recourse not only have failed to respect the time-limits set by law but also were negligent in completing the formalities of the recourse. Moreover, it is evident that the Board Members have committed the delict of schism by constituting St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish as an independent entity capable of appointing its own clergy apart from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary. This can be seen as an expression of the refusal of the members of the Board to subject themselves to the lawfully constituted Ecclesiastical authority.
Consequent to this grave determination, Your Excellency is asked to inform the Board Members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish of this decision and their right to present recourse against it to the Ordinary Session of the Cardinal and Bishop members of this Congregation (Feria IV) within the peremptory time-limit of thirty useful days (tempus utile) of the receipt of the copy of this letter.
In communicating this decision to the Board Members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and in helping them to accept its conclusion in a spirit of Christian faith, we should ask you, on behalf of this Congregation, to offer them special pastoral care and kindness, encouraging them to recede from the contumacy of schism. This Dicastery hopes that every effort will be made to assist them in reconciling with the Catholic Church and in offering a valuable Christian witness of repentance.
With fraternal regards and prayerful best wishes, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
William Cardinal Levada
+ Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila