St. Stanislaus
3:11 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Judge rules in favor of St. Stanislaus Kostka church

Updated 5:26 p.m. with comment, more information.

St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church has won a legal battle with the St. Louis Archdiocese.

In a ruling handed down this morning a St. Louis circuit judge said the archdiocese has no legitimate claim to the historic Polish church's property.

St. Stanislaus has governed its own finances since the late 1800s, but in 2003 the archdiocese asked the church to give up that right.

Current St. Stanislaus pastor Marek Bozek says the ruling will allow the parish to continue its 120-year tradition.

"We are overcome with joy," Bozek said. "We could not have asked for a better decision from the judge and we are extremely grateful to God that justice has been rendered."

Former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke took away the parish's pastor and excommunicated several lay board members, and said the church was no longer Catholic.

Current Archbishop Robert Carlson said in a statement today that the Archdiocese will appeal.

He also said the Archdiocese continues to strive to bring the members of St. Stanislaus into "full communion" with the Catholic Church.