Just a question. I’m not that naive, but let’s take a look. The media is utterly taken with every comment and action of Pope Francis as indicative of some seismic break from the past or new trend to lead the Church out of the Dark Ages. While hardly a break from the past (an understatement), how will yesterday’s ad orientem Mass in the Sistine Chapel be interpreted?
Might this striking image of the successor to Saint Peter embolden priests who may be inclined to offer Mass this way, and yet are fearful of repercussions from their bishops? If Papa Francesco is doing it, why not more? What canonical basis is there that would prevent priests from offering Mass ad orientem? I’m guessing…none at all, just the granitic opposition of the local Ordinary. “But your Excellency, look at our Holy Father!”
Cue dead silence, rising anger, and swift rebuke.