By Allan Gillis
I just realized the slight of hand here in this document!
Here is the letter dated July 12th from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Divine Worship as it addresses the issue of celebrating Mass ad orientem. The Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli, Chairman, clarifies that there will be no expected changes to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, but points out existing rubrics in “the Order of Mass which reflect the real possibility that the celebrant might be facing away from the assembly.” Ya think?
check this out:
July 12, 2016 Your Eminence / Your Excellency:
As you are no doubt aware, some comments made at a London talk on July 7 by His Eminence Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, quickly became the source of much speculation and debate concerning the proper orientation of the priest celebrant in relation to the assembly during the celebration of the Eucharist in the Ordinary Form. [Did Sarah step in it or what?!] In the whirlwind of media attention which has followed, there has been no small amount of confusion as to whether his remarks, in which he encouraged bishops and priests to celebrate Mass ad orientem when feasible beginning on the first Sunday of Advent of this year, constitute an actual change to the rubrics of the liturgy. In a statement released on Monday, July 11, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the outgoing Director of the Holy See Press Office, has clarified on behalf of the Holy See that no liturgical directives concerning the orientation of the priest in respect to the assembly at Mass were to be anticipated before Advent of this year. As a result, no changes to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal are expected at this time, nor is there a new mandate for the celebrant to face away from the assembly. As a final comment, n. 299 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal does show a preference for the celebrant’s facing the people “whenever possible” in the placement and orientation of the altar. That configuration will most likely continue to be the norm at most parishes, [here’s the kicker! – wait for it…] as it has been for decades now. [Did you get that?] However, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has clarified on earlier occasions that this does not prohibit the celebration of the Eucharist in the Ordinary Form ad orientem. In fact, there are rubrics in the Order of Mass which reflect the real possibility that the celebrant might be facing away from the assembly (see for example n. 29 before the Prayer over the Offerings: “Standing in the middle of the altar, facing the people, extending then joining his hands, he says …”). Although permitted, the decision whether or not to preside ad orientem should take into consideration the physical configuration of the altar [why? …they didn’t have the same consideration back in 1970!] and sanctuary space, and, most especially, the pastoral welfare of the faith community [I HATE that term!] being served. Such an important decision should always be made with the supervision and guidance of the local bishop.
Fraternally yours in Christ, Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli Chairman
Did you see that? …the defensive swipe: “as it has been for decades now” – THEY CERTAINLY DIDN’T HAVE THAT SAME CONSIDERATION WHEN THEY TRAMPLED, BURNED, CUT AWAY AND DEMOLISHED OUR LITURGY AND SACRED ALTARS BACK IN THEIR HAYDAY!!! …AND OUR LITURGY HAD SERVED US WELL FOR CENTURIES! AT LEAST 17 CENTURIES! I say kak to you Fr. Seratelli!
I sense a double-standard here. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they find Cardinal Sarah in the trunk of a Cadillac somewhere… or at least banished to the job of “Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of The Knights Who Say Ni”.