In a Slate article by Andrew Santella.
When word began to spread last year that Pope Benedict XVI might release a document that would allow some changes in the ways Catholic worship on Sunday mornings, the reaction in some quarters approached giddy enthusiasm. "It’s coming … it’s coming!" wrote one blogger of the imminent release of the papal decree. (As it turned out, its release was not so imminent. Catholics who were waiting are still waiting, though reports now suggest the announcement could come in a few weeks.)
The blogger referenced is Amy Welborn and she said no such phrase and hardly approached "giddy enthusiasm." Her post was a roundup of talk on the subject and nowhere was there talk of an "imminent" release other than speculation based on rumors.
The rest of the article is not as bad as it might have been. The usual suspects such as Commonweal and Peter Steinfels are quoted and there are no proponents mentioned.
As my liturgically clueless classmates and I were told, before the Second Vatican Council, Masses were celebrated in Latin by a priest who faced the altar, his back to the congregation. After Vatican II, Masses were in the vernacular, and priests faced their flocks.
Funny how they never mention who the priest’s back is now turned to.
I’m curious. If priests “faced the altar” before Vatican II, are their backs to it now?
Stellar writing there, Andrew Santella of Slate.
You might like to consult the Ritual for the Consecration of Altars found in the Rite for Consecration/Blessing of Churches wherein it indicates that the altar itself is the ‘place of Christ in the Church’ — ‘the place full of awe, the gate of heaven’. Which side of the altar the clergy stand on does not change that centrality of the altar or its place as where we ‘touch heaven’ and heavenly things. The altar is the place where the immanence and the transcendence of the Holy Trinity meet us — and so where we enter into God’s Presence by the Christ’s sacrifice and share in the foretaste of the Paschal Wedding Banquet.
Excellent last line.