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by Nicholas Wylie  •  •  October 18, 2022   

Battles abound for Australian Latin Mass community

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Many bishops have issued restrictions for the Traditional Latin Mass since Pope Francis issued his motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, last year. 

Here to tell us about one thriving parish's battle with its archbishop is Church Militant's Nick Wylie.

We've unfortunately seen many faithful Catholics suffer the loss of their TLM communities since last summer. In tonight's In-Depth Report, we discuss how an Australian priest is fighting for the spiritual well-being of his flock.

Fr. Michael Rowe, priest, archdiocese of Perth: "I have battled for the past four years, doing as much as I can to protect St. Anne's. But now I need you to step up and do your part. I can't do any more. I've done everything I could."

Father Michael Rowe is fighting to keep his thriving traditional community at St. Anne's in Belmont afloat. 

Last month, Fr. Rowe lost a four-year legal battle to prevent the archdiocese from selling the church.

Although the archdiocese is not attempting to sell the church at this time, it has the right to sell at any point in the future.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe dealt St. Anne's another blow shortly after Fr. Rowe lost in court. 

The archbishop issued his Latin Mass restrictions on Sept. 19. 

Rowe: "Suddenly it seems like everyone wants to make the Latin Mass out to some sort of, I don't know, reactionary group or something, which it isn't. It's just people wanting to be Catholic."

Father Rowe quickly worked with a canon lawyer to submit a petition to the archbishop to amend or rescind his restrictions.

Rowe: "There are problems with the decree. It was done without any consultation of the people of St. Anne's or even any idea of what goes on."

Father Rowe also asked parishioners and people around the world to write to the archbishop, and hundreds have.

Pope Francis stated the restrictions on Latin Mass are about unity in the Church.

But critics are skeptical of Costelloe's motives after the recent Plenary Council officially allowed for liturgies incorporating Aboriginal symbols and rituals.

Rowe: "A diocese can have an Aboriginal Mass. It can have an ecumenical service against fossil fuels with Muslims, Buddhists and everyone else there. But, you know, suddenly the heritage of the Church, the Traditional Latin Mass, is somehow forbidden."

The Plenary Council also passed a decree stating: "Should the universal law of the Church be modified to authorize the diaconate for women, the Plenary Council recommends that the Australian bishops examine how best to implement it in the context of the Church in Australia."

Rowe: "People want the faith of our fathers. That's what it is. People just want to be Catholic. They just want to practice their faith. And really they just want to be left in peace."

Instead of focusing on the malformed Catholics in the pews or those who have left the Church, bishops are continuing to focus their energy on stifling small groups of faithful Catholics who seek reverent, beautiful liturgy. 

To find out more about Fr. Rowe and St. Anne's, visit their Facebook page,

You will also find a link to their fundraiser to help pay their legal fees. 

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