I got this provocative little item via e-mail from a WDTPRSer. It is a copy of a note he sent to the Bishop of Birmingham, AL, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Baker. My emphases:
Most Reverend Robert J. Baker
Bishop of Birmingham
I am writing regarding the recent broadcast of our Holy Father’s celebration of Mass on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, broadcast on EWTN on Sunday, January 13. At this Mass, the Holy Father celebrated the Mass ad orientem. I’m sure you are well aware of this.
Ironically, the "Norms for Televised Masses for the Diocese of Birmingham" issued by your predecessor, Bishop David Foley, in February 2000 directed that all televised Masses in the Diocese of Birmingham be celebrated versus populum, which EWTN has faithfully done. While EWTN certainly has no control over what the Holy Father decides to do, there seems to be an inconsistency here. If it is acceptable to broadcast the Holy Father’s Mass ad orientem on EWTN, why is it not acceptable for EWTN to broadcast their Masses ad orientem? If the Holy Father wants the faithful to experience the fruits of the Mass ad orientem, why would the Diocese of Birmingham continue to deny its broadcast by EWTN?
A very good question.
The liturgical environment has changed considerably since February 2000.
Perhaps His Excellency might find it opportune to review those local norms in light of present circumstances.