Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, has accepted the resignation of a longtime pastor with whom he has had discussions about how the priest celebrates Mass.
Father William Rowe, who for the past 17 years has been pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mount Carmel, said he offered to resign after those conversations did not resolve Bishop Braxton’s concerns about his celebration of the Mass, including his failure to follow the new English translation of the Roman Missal, implemented in November.
The priest linked the Gospel, his homily and the prayers together in language everyone could understand, even if that was not exactly the way they were written.
A parishioner described the pastor as “a great priest, a great person and a major part of the local community.” Parishioners are collecting signatures on petitions and have written letters to Bishop Braxton, hoping he will change his mind.
Father Rowe does not take a salary from the parish, and instead relies on Social Security and a small pension he receives from the military for the years he spent in the Air Force Reserve.