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Pastor removed for free-lancing prayers and ignoring rubrics at Mass February 28, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Liturgy, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness, Tradition.

Not here in Dallas, although there are some priests who could probably use a reminder, at the least, but up in Illinois:

An Illinois bishop has confirmed that a Roman Catholic priest was fired [I doubt that’s the right term, but……..?] because he “simply would not and could not pray the prayers of the Mass” under a new translation that went into effect last year.

In a rare letter of explanation about an internal personnel dispute, Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Ill., publicly responded to the firing of the Rev. William Rowe, who has been pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Carmel, Ill., for 18 years.

The case, which has garnered international media attention, also led to a second priest in the Belleville diocese to resign a leadership post in protest.

Braxton said in the Feb. 14 letter that “several” parishioners of St. Mary’s had brought audio and video evidence to the bishop “which showed the many changes and omissions Fr. Rowe makes in the Mass.”

Rowe offered Braxton his resignation last year after a meeting during which the bishop barred Rowe from improvising prayers during Mass [so, he wasn’t ‘fired,’ he resigned]  Rowe said that when he prays the Roman Missal — the book of prayers, chants and responses used during the Mass — he tends “to change the words that are written in the book to match what I was talking about” in the homily. [So, the priest is deciding that his views as to what should be said at Mass trump the established norms, his oath of obedience, and the collective guidance of the Magisterium/Tradition]

According to Catholic liturgical practice, priests are duty bound to use the prayers laid out in the Missal. “These changes consist of far more than ‘a few words,’” Braxton wrote.

In an interview two days after the letter was sent, Rowe called the letter “pure Bishop Braxton.”

“He mentioned in the letter that we clash in our ecclesiology — our image of the church,” said Rowe, 72. “He’s right. He seems to consider the church as the bishops’, and my notion is that the church starts with the people.” [What an absolute straw-man, red herring “argument.”  It’s not even an argument, just an emotional ploy.  The Church consists of those in union with the See of Rome and who accept all Catholic Doctrine.  Properly offering Mass is a part of that submission to Doctrine.  When priests clericalize by making themselves the star of the show, by determining that they have more wisdom to decide what should be said at Mass than Holy Mother Church, they are putting themselves on an enormous pedestal which is also an enormous temptation to pride.  It is very sad to see this kind of thing still goes on.]

If you read the comments at the link, you will see that there are a number of people who are very attracted to Fr. Rowe’s style of improvisation.  In some of those same comments, you will also read much apostasy from the Faith.  And that, aside from the abuse of the most glorious institution in the history of the world, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is the main issue – such abuse is invariably tied with dissent or outright heresy regarding Doctrine, as well.  What these priests have done is to build their own private little church, with them as personal pope, determining what doctrine will be adhered to and how the Mass will be said, and they’ve tragically led many souls astray in this process.  Many of these men have been priests for decades.  Many have some charisma.  And many of the beliefs they reject play right into the hands of the culture which tells us never to suffer, never to deny ourselves anything, that everything should be just as we want it every second of the day – the antithesis of growth in the interior life and learning to take up our cross and follow Our Lord Jesus Christ.  And so, they are very influential, and many older Catholics cannot recall a time when they weren’t being “led” by men such as this. It is the apotheosis of the cult of man.

It’s also a complete rejection of the tradition of the Church and what constituted a faithful Catholic life for centuries – and still constitutes it.  I saw a reference to “cookie-cutter” Catholics in the comments, as if those who adhered to the Doctrine of the Faith were simply mindless robots, little “Stepford children” for the bishops.  What a joke (do you think Bishop Farrell would think me a “cookie-cutter”?), and what a sad insight into the commenter’s view of the Faith.  And yet these folks are likely not much to be blamed – they were led to where they are at today by men who fell in their vocations.  It’s very sad.


1. Marguerite - March 2, 2012

How about a priest at Light of Christ Church in Clearwater,Florida not dismissing his congregation with “Go in Peace to love and serve the Lord” but says, instead to thunderous guffaws “Go and get your Bolognese dinner”!

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