From the dissenting ultra-liberal National Catholic Reporter comes this whiny piece jabbing at the Bishop of Tulsa, Most Rev. Edward Slattery, over his choice to offer Holy Mass ad orientem versus when in the cathedral.
Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments.
Okla. bishop no longer faces people at Mass
Aug. 21, 2009
By Kristen May, Religion News Service
Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Okla., will no longer face his parishioners during Mass, in an effort to “recover a more authentic Catholic worship.” [This isn’t really an accurate statement, is it. The Bishop has chosen ad orientem worship when at the altar, for the Eucharistic Prayer, etc. There are going to many times when he is, yes, "facing the people".]
[Let us now see just how confused this really is….] Since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960’s, Catholic Mass has been preformed [sic] in the local language and with the priest facing the congregation. [The Council documents say that Latin must be preserved and and the rubrics of the Missale Romanum assume that Mass is ad orientem, but, keep reading…] In a July 2007 decree, however, Pope Benedict XVI offered priests the option of celebrating the so-called “old Latin Mass.” [Is that what it is called? And, as I scratch my head, what does that have to do with Bishop Slattery’s decision? Bishop Slattery is talking about his celebrations of the Novus Ordo. Still, to be fair, perhaps this whole thing is a result of the gravitational pull we know had to result from the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.]
Slattery, in the September issue of the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic magazine, said Vatican II misplaced the crucial “orientation” (direction) of worship for Catholics. [Is that what the Bishop said, Kristen? Bp. Slattery said that Vatican II screwed things up? I don’t think so. He actually said that this was an innovation introduced after the Council.]
“The priest faces the people while the people face the priest, even though the Eucharistic prayer is directed to the Father and not to the people,” says Slattery in his From the Bishop article.
Although both the Latin Mass and the Vatican II Mass are currently acceptable within the Catholic Church, the pope does not want to divide the church based on those who face the congregation and those who do not. [… ?!?… Can anyone tell me what that meant? Can it be… that… she thinks that the older form, the TLM must be said ad orientem and the Novus Ordo must be "facing the people"?]
Echoing that sentiment, Slattery does not want his congregation to feel slighted by the change of orientation.
“This change ought not to be misconstrued as the bishop `turning his back on the faithful,’ as if I am being inconsiderate or hostile,” he wrote.
The change [Please consider that "the change" was actually the turning around of the altars and Mass "facing the people". This is a correction rather than a change.] is not being enforced in other Oklahoma parishes. Slattery mentions only that he will revive the forward-facing position at the cathedral in Tulsa. [And I believe only when he is at the cathedral. If I read his article correctly, I believe he is making this decision for his own Masses, and not necessarily for the other Masses at the cathedral, though I sincerely hope that is what happens!]
The most interesting thing in this odd little piece is the connection made between Summorum Pontificum and ad orientem worship.
Despite the strange reasoning here, the little article reveals that the Holy Father’s "Marshall Plan" to revitalize our Catholic identity is actually getting some traction… and the liberals don’t like it.