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Independent St. Stanislaus Catholic parish declines to join Episcopal Church

Independent St. Stanislaus Catholic parish declines to join Episcopal Church

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ST. LOUIS — The independent St. Stanislaus Kostka Polish Catholic Church is no longer considering joining the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, church leaders said.

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.

The Carr Square neighborhood church has been independent since its split from the Roman Catholic Church in 2005.

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.

The church will continue to work with the Episcopal Diocese, according to the statement, including by hosting the diocese's consecration ceremony for its 11th bishop, scheduled at St. Stanislaus next April.

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