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St. Stanislaus Members Reject Turning Money Over

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Ballots are counted Sunday at St. Stanislaus (KWMU photo)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO –
Members of St. Stanislaus parish voted yesterday 299-5 against turning the church's property and money over to the St. Louis Archdiocese.

Archbishop Raymond Burke says the lay board that controls those assets violates church law.

But many parishioners say they fear Burke would close the largely Polish parish if he gets control.

"I'm very shocked we had that much support," said Bill Bialczak, the chairman of the Stanislaus board, after reading the results.

"I knew we were going in the right direction, but it's a very strong message to the Archdiocese." But Archdiocese spokesman Jaime Allman says parishioners should have instead voted for or against Burke's plan for breaking the impasse, instead of voting on whether the assets should be handed over.

"The archbishop has already heard that message, that parishoners don't want him to take their money or their property," Allman said Sunday.

"And believe me, the archbishop doesn't want their money or their property, either. Had he voted [Sunday], he would have voted no; he would have voted with most of the parishoners."

Allman says Burke has promised to not close the church if its assets are put into an irrevocable trust. The plan also calls for an endowment to be created to ensure maintenance of parish property and an audit of finances.

But St. Stanislaus board members say that would give Burke total control of spending.

They add they now expect to be sued, though Allman says Burke doesn't want to consider that option yet.

St. Stanislaus Vote
Question: Should we turn over all property, fund and parish, control to the Archdiocese of St. Louis?
No29998.3%
Yes51.6%

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