Monday, June 25, 2012

Belleville bishop removes southern Illinois priest who improvises liturgy

MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois priest is being ousted for improvising part of his services.

Bishop Edward Braxton of the Belleville Diocese has told the Rev. Bill Rowe he's now considered retired and must leave the rectory at St. Mary Parish in Mount Carmel on July 10.
The 73-year-old priest says he hopes his appeal to the Vatican reverses Braxton's move, although he says that's a longshot.

Braxton has appointed the Rev. Trevor Murry as parochial administrator of the parish. Murry is pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in West Frankfort.

Rowe's long-stated practice of changing portions of the liturgy to make them easier to understand didn't become public until February. That came after church leaders in Rome revamped the liturgy to be based on earlier Latin versions.


  1. Earlier Latin versions? This is the Latin Rite, actually, so the Latin text of the Mass continues to be the normative text. We got a more accurate new English translation of the Mass. This was hard for some of the older priests who had a really established habit of changing the words of the Mass. That was always wrong though. Vatican II said, nobody, even a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the Mass on his own authority. Yet many acted as if Vatican II somehow gave them a license to do just that!

  2. Bravo! It's about time. I'd love to see a LOT more of this. It is needed.

  3. Why was this priest allowed to change the words of the Mass for YEARS? Why did it take this long for something to be done? God bless this bishop and all the other bishops who are being true shepherds to their flocks!