For 18 years, the Rev. William Rowe has done a little improvising while celebrating Mass on Sunday mornings at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mount Carmel, Ill.
Now those deviations have led to his resignation in an incident that may be tied to global changes to the Catholic liturgy.
Last Sunday, instead of saying “Lord our God that we may honor you with all our mind and love everyone in truth of heart,” during the opening prayer, he altered the phrasing to better reflect the day’s Gospel message, in which Jesus heals a man with a troubled spirit.
“We thank you, God, for giving us Jesus who helped us to be healed in mind and heart and proclaim his love to others,” the 72-year-old priest prayed instead.
Three days later, Rowe received a letter from Bishop Edward Braxton accepting his resignation.