Prayer Interpreter Out

A priest who was removed from his parish for improvising prayers during the celebration of Mass has now been suspended from all other priestly duties—a severe punishment usually only meted out to priests accused of such grave crimes as child abuse. The Rev. Bill Rowe, 72, had been a parish priest at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mount Carmel, Ill., for 18 years. A U.S.-based liturgy specialist and chaplain said: “Many Catholic priests now are over 65. If the church starts going around checking up on the way they are saying Mass, they may find many of them are not always sticking to the exact wording of the Mass—especially since the new translation was introduced…. It is also unpleasant to think that the bishop listened to a small number of parishioners who had been secretly recording Father Rowe. This sends an awful message to our already overstretched clergy.”

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