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‘Ad orientem’ suggested, not mandated
July 26th, 2016
By Mary Bordi

I hope that the letter “Facing our Lord in worship” in the July 14 edition did not elicit replies to Catholic San Francisco similar to some of the perfunctory responses wallpapering the Internet after Cardinal Sarah's remarks promoting “ad orientem” worship made at the recent Sacra Liturgia conference in London.


Cardinal Sarah's address was not a mandate from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to celebrate Mass “ad orientem” as many are claiming in outrage. It was a polite suggestion by the cardinal as a speaker addressing a conference on the revitalization of the liturgical life of the church. His comments were prefaced by phrases such as "I want to make an appeal to all priests ..." and "I humbly and fraternally ask you to implement this practice."


Unfortunately the media (and even some clergy) have mistakenly spun these suggestions out of proportion, claiming Cardinal Sarah is "mandating" a change that he cannot make! Have they even read his remarks?


I hope that our archbishop takes Cardinal Sarah's polite suggestions to heart and encourages his priests to at least try facing our Lord when they lead the people in offering the holy sacrifice of the Mass. And if he does this, please beware of those who may find it somehow outrageous and put their own spin on such a suggestion.



Mary Bordi


The writer is a member of Our Lady of Refuge Mission of Our Lady of the Pillar Parish.




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