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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.

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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.

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