Tässä hänen loistava kommenttinsa messunvieton suunnasta…

 You recently wrote that although you’ve celebrated Mass versus populum for most of your life as a priest, after further study and contemplation you now consider the Mass facing the people a “mistake”. This is quite a bold public statement. Could you expound more on it?

I could. Even from my first Mass, I was uneasy with Mass versus populum. It seemed to make the priest as a particular individual the center of attention rather than Christ in whom the priest should disappear. (That’s one of the symbolisms of vesting: after the amice, the alb as baptismal garment, the cincture as the strengthening of Confirmation, the stole as the sign of sacred orders, and the chasuble as sign of the High Priest.) It just took me a while (about 10,000 Masses versus populum) to figure out what was wrong. My own conclusions from prayer and study coincided with the publication, in 1999, of the original German edition of Cardinal Ratzinger’s The Spririt of the Liturgy, in my opinion the most sublime book on the Mass every written. All the reasons I have for considering the change of the direction of prayer detrimental can be found there, expressed more eloquently than I could express them. (Cf. Part II, Chaper 3: “The Altar and the Direction of Liturgical Prayer”)

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