St. Louis cleric stripped of status

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ST. LOUIS -- A priest who defied his Roman Catholic bishop in 2005 to become pastor of a St. Louis parish at odds with the archdiocese was stripped of his priesthood.

Bozek said he was read the formal pronouncement in Springfield late Monday but that he learned the Vatican issued the decision Jan. 31.

In 2005, Bozek was serving in southern Missouri's Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese when he accepted the pastorship of St. Stanislaus parish in St. Louis.

Bishop James Johnston says the Vatican's decision resulted from Bozek abandoning the assignment.

Bozek says he won't leave the Polish-heritage parish of St. Stanislaus, and will take his orders from a reformed Catholic bishop. He planned an evening news conference.

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