Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Another form of priestly abuse recognized: liturgical abuse

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 10, 2012

The Post-Dispatch headline on the suspension of Father William Rowe in Belleville, Illinois, announces that Father Rowe has been barred from preaching. But that’s really not the point.

The point is that Father Rowe has been barred from celebrating Mass. And the reason is simple: The veteran pastor, who takes pride in ad-libbing the liturgy, refuses to follow the liturgical guidelines of the Church. Bishop Edward Braxton has decided that since he will not celebrate Mass properly, he should not celebrate Mass at all.

Father Rowe “has not been accused of abuse,” the report tells us. But he has been accused of abuse—liturgical abuse—and he has confirmed the accuracy of those accusations himself.

The reporter seems to think that “preaching” is what Catholic priests do (everything else is treated as incidental), and sexual abuse is the only major offense a priest can commit. Wrong on both counts.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,821 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,178.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Chelle,SFO-MI - Jul. 11, 2012 10:41 AM ET USA

    My question is this: why now and with just this priest? We've been tortured for years and years with this kind of thing! It amounts to ARROGANCE and it disgusts me. People who ARE ignorant of it have their faith ruined and on the opposite end of the spectrum people who do know what is happening are tempted to bail for the SSPX, etc. Hello?! People who are TRYING to raise a FAMILY aren’t having the FAITH they are teaching to little ones REINFORCED in the PARISH. HELLO BISHOPS AND PRIESTS?!

  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Jul. 10, 2012 7:31 PM ET USA

    This is welcome news-not so much for the action felt by Father Rowe (if there is any remorse)-but for the recognition of abuse and step to correct. We all have personal stories and experiences of the kinds of cheap actions too many "Priests" have taken out there personal interpretation of what the Liturgy is. It is about time we get back to the celebration of "THE" most important mystical event any of us will experience in our lifetimes. Let's do this the way Our Lord directed and asked us.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 10, 2012 1:49 PM ET USA

    Ad-libbing is sneaking back into the liturgy in our diocese. I wonder if the offenders think we are too stupid to notice.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17