Rev. Bill Rowe removed over ad-libbing

6:35 PM, Jun 25, 2012   |    comments
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MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois priest is being ousted for improvising part of his services.

Bishop Edward Braxton of the Belleville Diocese has told the Rev. Bill Rowe he's now considered retired and must leave the rectory at St. Mary Parish in Mount Carmel on July 10.

The 73-year-old priest says he hopes his appeal to the Vatican reverses Braxton's move, although he says that's a longshot.

Braxton has appointed the Rev. Trevor Murry as parochial administrator of the parish. Murry is pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in West Frankfort.

Rowe's long-stated practice of changing portions of the liturgy to make them easier to understand didn't become public until February. That came after church leaders in Rome revamped the liturgy to be based on earlier Latin versions.

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Associated Press

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