(KMOV) -- St. Stanislaus voted against a proposal that would have moved reconciliation with the Archdiocese within reach.
Church members rejected the proposal by a vote of 257-185. If the parishioners had agreed to the proposal, it would have meant that Pastor Marek Bozek would have been out of a job. Some voters may have feared the new leadership of the Archdiocese would have driven parishioners away.
The Archdiocese filed a lawsuit two years ago and if it wins that suit, the Roman Catholic Church would again be able to assign the church's pastor and approve its board. The proposal was a way of settling the case. The proposal called for two corporations in the church: one that has existed since the 1980s and another, which among other things, would run parish activities.
One of the biggest fears was that the diocese would close the parish and sell its property, with proceeds benefiting other plans in the Archdiocese. Some of the church members said they believe the Archdiocese's proposal was aimed at getting control of the church and its assets.
Archbishop of St. Louis Robert Carlson said in a statement, "I am disappointed with the outcome of the vote at St. Stanislaus. Since coming to the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I have sought ways to bring about reconciliation. I remain committed to working toward a resolution."
Part of the agreement also would have provided a new pastor for the next year at no cost to the parish, but members of St. Stanislaus didn't have a solid agreement that Bozek's replacement would speak both Polish and English, an important factor for a church full of Polish Americans.
The Archdiocese also would have contributed $10,000 to fund raising planning to make sure the church would survive.
St. Stanislaus is in the midst of a six year battle with the Archdiocese. Despite holding Catholic mass, it hasn't been recognized as a Catholic parish for six years.