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Illinois priest fights for the right to ad-lib liturgies

April 26, 2012

An Illinois priest who resigned from ministry rather than agreeing to use the new English translation of the Mass has now retracted his resignation and is fighting to remain a pastor.

“There have been so many people who have supported me,” explained Father William Rowe. He resigned after Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville announced that “it will not be acceptable for any priest or any parish to refrain from using the new prayers due to their personal preference."

Father Rowe readily admits that he has been “improvising” the prayers of the Mass for years, altering the language of the Missal so that the prayers match the themes of his own preaching. With the introduction of the new Missal translation, Bishop Braxton said that priests must use the words approved by the universal Church rather than ad-libbing their own prayers.


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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 27, 2012 6:06 PM ET USA

    His problem is that he wants to get famous by making an issue of it. Why doesn't he do what the priests in my parish do? Just go right on making it up as they go along, as they always have. Our archbishop gives no sign of caring.

  • Posted by: kmbold - Apr. 26, 2012 11:19 PM ET USA

    He has burned his bridges behind him. No second thoughts for such imprudence.

  • Posted by: MatJohn - Apr. 26, 2012 8:26 PM ET USA

    The anything goes Episcopal Church will be glad to welcome him.

  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Apr. 26, 2012 3:48 PM ET USA

    Good grief. He admits to "altering the language of the Missal so that the prayers match the themes of his own preaching." And thus is a major problem in the Church today, where far too many priests think the liturgy is about THEM - as opposed to Christ! Prayers, prayers, prayers for this, I say.