Last week, we reported on talks between St Stanislaus Kostka Polish Catholic Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri about the possibility of the independent congregation formally joining the Episcopal Church. Now, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reports at stltoday.com that a legal merger is no longer on the table:
After a meeting with Episcopal Bishop Wayne Smith and lawyers, St. Stanislaus representatives declined to agree to relinquish church property to the Episcopal Church in any future dissolution of their relationship. …
Earlier this month, nearly 60% of the 300 St. Stanislaus parishioners voted to authorize the church’s board of directors to explore a relationship with the Episcopal Diocese. The property rights provision tripped up the discussions, according to church leaders.
“Such condition is not acceptable to St. Stanislaus and for this reason the board of directors has terminated the discussion and will not be pursuing any legal relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, unless and until the parishioners demand it,” said Donna Nachefski, church deacon and chairman of the board of directors, in a statement.
At issue was the so-called Dennis Canon, adopted in 1979, by which:
All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any Parish, Mission or Congregation is held in trust for this Church and the Diocese thereof in which such Parish, Mission or Congregation is located (Canon I.7.4)
The independent congregation and the Episcopal Diocese will continue working together as ecumenical partners, with St Stanilaus’ scheduled to host the consecration service for the 11th Bishop of Missouri next April.
Read more at the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
Featured image: St Stanislaus Kostka on Facebook