Rev. William Rowe, a Catholic priest in Belleville IL, has rescinded a resignation from his pastorate at the parish of St. Mary's in the Midwestern town. He submitted his resignation in October 2011 to Bishop Edward Braxton and had not received a response.

According to the Belleville New Democrat daily, Father Rowe was able to rescind his resignation because of a provision in church law that requires a response with 3 months. The bishop and priest had wrangled for several years over the latter's changes in the wording of the Catholic Mass. According to reports, Father Rowe had substituted the official words of the Mass with prayers of his own invention.

(Fr William Rowe)
Fr Rowe is believed to be the first Catholic priest known to have tendered a resignation over this issue in the Anglo-phone world. However, another priest of the diocese resigned in solidarity with Fr. Rowe. A petition is currently circulating in support of the dissident priest and has collected approximately 1,500 signatures.

See background here.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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