It was a sad Christmas in St. Louis. There are all kinds of stories this morning about the illicit Christmas Mass that Father Marek Bozek presided over at St. Stanislaus Church in St. Louis. It was illicit because Father Bozek left his assignment at the Cathedral in Springfield, Mo., without his bishop's permission, and indeed, against his bishop's will, and was "hired" by the six-member board at St. Stan's.
This action, of course, put them outside of the Catholic Church for a very simple reason -- laity do not have the authority to hire their priests. They are assigned by their bishops, as the successors of the apostles, to wherever the bishop requires them.
Anyway, the stories say that anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people were present at this illicit Mass and that, therefore, anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people now have gravely sinful matter to bring to Confession.
But one wonders -- how many people were at Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis? Or at the Old Cathedral? Or at St. Agatha's where Archbishop Raymond Burke transferred the Polish apostolate to? I can bet there were a lot more than 2,000 people in those three places combined. And how many were at the rest of the parishes throughout the City of St. Louis? Then, St. Stan's becomes a drop in the bucket and one then wonders what the media fuss is all about.
One also wonders what the Archbishop said in his homily. But, of course, all the reporters were at the schismatics' church and not at the Cathedral to hear the Archbishop, or at St. Agatha's to see how many Poles are being faithful to the Church. All of this tells you a lot, not about what's going on in St. Louis, but about where the affections of the media lie.