VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI baptized 13 babies in the Sistine Chapel during a Sunday Mass celebrated at the altar at the foot of Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" wall fresco.You've got to love that part about 'departure from tradition'.
In a departure from tradition, Benedict did not celebrate the Mass at a small altar set up to face the congregation. Instead, he celebrated it with his back to the congregation, which included the children's parents, godparents, grandparents and siblings.
Decades ago, priests routinely celebrated Mass at altars with their backs to parishioners, but after the modernizing changes of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, it became common practice for the celebrant to face the congregation.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Via the International Herald Tribune: