Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Priest and The Archbishop

Reverend Marek Bogusław Bozek is the pastor of St. Stanislaus Church in St. Louis, MO. He is being persecuted by the powerful Archbishop Raymond Burke, who has accused, tried and adjudged him guilty of nine canonical delicts. One would have been enough, but overkill is rarely eschewed by those who claim absolute power. Father Bozek is a Polish priest, like Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, 1947 – 1984, put to death by the Polish Secret Police for speaking out against communism and supporting Solidarity. He is featured in Daniel Berrigan's awe-some book on the Church, The Bride: Images of the Church. Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY, 2000. (pages 123 – 125)

The icons were drawn by William Hart McNichols. Text and poetry by Daniel. Each image this poet and this artist drew about Fr. Popieluszko may readily and easily be drawn about Fr. Bozek.

Of Fr. Popieluszko, McNichols had this to say: "This icon of Holy Martyr Jerzy Popieluszko was created with the hope and prayer that Father Jerzy will be a patron and intercessor for all diocesan priests throughout the world, especially those who suffer and stand with the outcast and the persecuted."

Dan Berrigan had this to say:

The young priest, a look of sadness,
    substance, soul.

His garb Polish-traditional,
cassock, stole, rosary in hand,
long out of mind,
the image redolent of silence's
deep well.

        A moment,
and his voice breaks in a tidal wave,
rock-ribbed conviction, passion.
"To serve God is to seek a way
to human hearts"
    And large-handedly, his
seeks your hand.

festers, a bomb aimed, explodes;
    "Fear only betrayal
for a few silver pieces of meaningless peace."

Not an inch given,
    no bending to the will
of martinets, overlords, all-out liars
defaming, cowing a people.

The end.

    Volcanic days and nights;
a brutal, inept, bloody , misadventure;
    This troublemaking priest
once for all, done with.

Fools, every one.
        Never, not to be done with,
no blow sufficing, no mortal strike
        but crowns him, immortal.

    Jerzy, people's martyr.

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