Priest at center of St. Louis controversy interviewed

Priest at center of St. Louis controversy interviewed

Fr. Marek Bozek, the Polish priest who abandoned his post in Missouri to serve the schismatic St. Stanislaus church in St. Louis and was excommunicated for it, was interviewed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday.

Among the new information, the accusations against Bozek in Poland at his former seminary were that he propositioned other students and that gay porn was found in his room. Despite this, when he applied for the seminary in Missouri and the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese asked his old diocese for references, nothing was said. As the Polish archbishop said: “There is no reason why if someone is accused of something at one place they cannot go on to another.” Maybe the reason is that if they weren’t fit to be a priest in your diocese, they might not be fit to be priest in another. This sounds a lot like the reasoning that allowed priests who abused kids to flit from diocese to diocese.

We also find out that Bozek was removed from a parish in Springfield after the bishop was told Bozek was planning to tell his congregation from the pulpit that he was gay. Bozek denies this. Instead he says he’s a “chaste and celibate” priest. As we’ve seen a lot of gay priests claim that they can be gay and celibate and chaste.

The reaction by the Springfield bishop to Bozek’s leaving for St. Louis seems a little ... strange.

The 75-year-old Leibrecht said he feels a “personal betrayal” in Bozek’s decision. On the morning Bozek gave Leibrecht his final decision, Leibrecht asked the priest to sit down and take his coat off. Bozek refused.

“I begged him not to leave. I gave him every reason I could think of,” said Leibrecht, “but he made the decision anyway. It was,” he paused, then began to cry softly, “it was one of the saddest days of my life.”

Sounds like Bozek was a lot of trouble. Why should Leibrecht be sorry—to the point of tears—that he was leaving?

Sacramental illogic

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli