significant, Yes; new, No
There's one glaring error after another in the Reuters story. (Go ahead; test yourself. If you can't identify at least 8 errors, you need to read CWN stories more carefully.) Let's just take the introductory sentence:
Pope Benedict celebrated parts of Sunday's Mass with his back turned on the congregation, re-introducing an old ritual that had not been used in decades.
This wasn't an old ritual. It was the Novus Ordo Mass-- the same ritual you probably followed in your own parish this Sunday.
True, the Pope celebrated ad orientem, and that hasn't been done-- by a Roman Pontiff in a public ceremony-- for quite a while. For that reason it's significant.
But what the Pope did on Sunday can be done by any priest anywhere in the Latin rite, and is done routinely by many priests-- including the Pope himself, in his own private chapel. The ad orientem posture was not abolished by Vatican II or by any other liturgical directive.
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Posted by: -
Jan. 14, 2008 9:14 AM ET USA
As we used to say "Sic et Non", Phil. All that is technically true; but just let any priest try it and see what happens! The Pope IMHO has reversed that terrible impression of that first Papal Mass on that ridiculously tiny portable altar in the Sistine with all the Cardinals at their desks. It seems Benedict XVI is beginning to put his Papal "money" where his Cardinalitial "mouth" was ( Preface to Gamber's book, etc.)
Posted by: -
Jan. 13, 2008 5:09 PM ET USA
The act was significant enough in itself, without trying to make it something it was not. Informed Catholics know that BXVI is pushing forward with true liturgical renewal after decades of unnecessary innovations and road blocks. Recent actions are intended to allow both forms of the Mass to influence eachother and develop organically, not as canned products. The Pope celebrating the Mass of Bl. John XXIII "ad orientam" should send a strong message that it is an acceptable practice.