St. Stanislaus, a Catholic parish in North St. Louis, was recently granted freedom from not only the Diocese of St. Louis but the manacles of Rome. What a lease on life. Now, St. Stanislaus has the opportunity to manage its affairs without the intrusion of the Catholic Church. It was a long time in coming to be sure.
In the Diocese of Belleville, many followers consistently wonder aloud why Bishop Edward Braxton continues to preside despite highly questionable leadership and people skills.
As the church hierarchy prepares to convene in Rome for the selection of a new leader, followers of the church watch other stories that continue to make headlines. How many Cardinals from around the world will be forbidden to attend the private conclave? Will someone from outside Europe be given true consideration as the true leader of the spiritual church? If not, will the selection process be aptly called what is truly the selection of a quasi-leader who for dogmatic and political reasons is given the opportunity to rule the masses with unwavering, and at times, unconscionable power?
Will former Pope Benedict be allowed to pull strings behind the scenes, and what will his successor do, if anything, to restore sanity and credibility to this once-seemingly proud Christian denomination?
These are critical times for the church.