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Oklahoma bishop switches to ad orientem celebration of Mass in cathedral

October 29, 2012

The National Catholic Reporter calls attention to the decision of Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to celebrate Mass ad orientem in the city's cathedral.

This summer Bishop Slattery announced that he would celebrate Mass in the traditional manner, facing with the members of the congregation toward the altar. The bishop said that he was not requiring other priests in the diocese to adopt the same practice, but explained that he had chosen the ad orientem posture as a means of combating some of the "unforeseen and largely negative effects" of the liturgical changes since Vatican II.

Bishop Slattery observed that "people who exercise authority are expected to face directly the people they serve, like a teacher sitting behind her desk." The priest who offers the sacrifice of the Mass is not in a position of such authority, he said, and should be seen, with the people, addressing God.


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  • Posted by: JoePip - Oct. 30, 2012 8:26 PM ET USA

    JMJ God bless Bishop Edward Slattery! All Priests (Cardinals, Bishops and Pope) should offer the Holy Mass to God not the laity. Vatican ll did not change the offering of the Holy Mass for the celebrants Glory, God's Glory alone. Respectfully with Love

  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 30, 2012 6:48 PM ET USA

    The priest leads the people of God in offering adoration, thanksgiving, petition and atonement to their Creator, and the Sacrifice allows the faithful to participate anew in a tremendous heavenly bounty of love. The priest is absolutely indispensable to the life of the Church. It's truly all about him, but not in the sense prevalent today. He is transformed by the character and grace of ordination, and his is a life of real sacrifice and of true love. "Sursum corda!" "Habemus ad Dominum!"

  • Posted by: normnuke - Oct. 29, 2012 8:09 PM ET USA

    Bravo! Bp. Slattery. Now just let more people notice that, for people in the pews, following the Mass using a hand missal is far more participatory than just sitting there. Then let's start on the music, OK?