Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ironic...

Via the International Herald Tribune:
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.
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.
You've got to love that part about 'departure from tradition'.

7 comments:

Mark said...

Maybe someone should write to IHT and explain how (a) it's traditional; and (b) it's 'to God'/'leading the people' and not with the back to them.

Anonymous said...
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Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

It reminds me of the time the translation of the missal was changed in the US. At least one middle-aged parishioner was so upset by the change that he told a reporter that, under his breath, he always made sure to say the "original" words--the translation he had grown up with. Never mind that the first translation was part of a new rite itself!

What does one say to people who have no sense of history? =S

Martin Ford Jr. said...

This is going to be a help, though a small help, to reconciliation with the Orthodox. The Orthodox, especially the Russians, always look at our Byzantine Catholic priests who start saying Mass facing the people, using altar girls etc. and go "Why would we want to be contaminated by Rome??" The fact that Benedict is doing this publicly -- I'm sure some Orthodox priests are watching television with their wives going "Hey --- maybe these Catholics aren't so stupid after all ..."

Anonymous said...

That's the way it is in our culture. Something that happened three years in a row is suddenly holy tradition passed on from time immemorial.

Domini Sumus said...

Incredible, 40 years of facing the people and 500 years of facing with the people, but the 40 years is tradition.

Gotta love how people think.

Charles A. said...

domini sumus -

more than 500 years - more like 1900 years