From a reader:
Does a parish priest need permission from his bishop to say Mass facing Jesus? Does he need permission to say, “No women on the altar.”
Does he need permission to forbid stupid (but technically “approved”) songs from use during Mass? (Our Mass situation is so confusing, we’re looking for some way to approach our local priest, who is not sympathetic to the idea of desiring reverence.)
1) The Latin (the ones that count) rubrics even of the Novus Ordo presuppose that the priest and congregation are facing the same direction on the same side of the altar.
2) No priest can be forced to have females serving Mass or doing readings or anything else.
3) The pastor of a church can determine what music is sung within, of course, the limitation that it be appropriate for the worship of God.
If your parish priest wants to make some moves to bring the parish’s worship into continuity with our Catholic patrimony do all that you can to support him!
Of course, when and if a parish priest makes some of these moves, he might get some pretty strong pressure from a “discontinuity and rupture” bishop.
Whatever is done, there should be parish-wide catechesis to precede it and to go along with it.