BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) - For years, Father William Rowe of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mt. Carmel Illinois has deviated from the written prayers at Mass, choosing instead to personalize them to better convey the points in his sermon.
But Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton told him “No more”…he says all priests must stick to the traditional liturgy, word-for-word.
When Father Rowe indicated that wasn’t going to happen, Bishop Braxton sought to have Rowe ousted.
Earlier this week the Bishop gave Rowe an ultimatum: either resign or have the church remove him.
After talking things over with his parishoners, Father Rowe has told Bishop Braxton that he will not resign.
“I guess next he will send me a letter saying I’m hereby removed,” Rowe speculates. “I assume in July I will be leaving the parish. From there on I’m not sure what I will be doing. It really depends on what he says I’m allowed to do, I guess, and we’ll go from there.”
Rowe adds that he’s been meeting with canon lawyers to determine if he should appeal this decision to the Vatican.
However, Rowe says he’s already been informed that the man with the final say on the matter, Cardinal Raymond Burke, is already on the Bishop’s side.