There has been no local discussion as far as we know. The first we heard of them was from Rome via Washington in The Leader.
Why does Rome feel that it has to make these decrees which are “minor”? One minor change states that it is “desirable whenever possible” for the priest to celebrate Mass facing the people. This seems to offer loopholes for those who want the old Mass back. Some might like that but as for the rest of us, what purpose is served by looking at the back of the priest at the altar? It is better when the community faces the priest and each other.
Surely the local people, priests and bishop can make these decisions. What may be suitable for one place may not suit another, so let it be a local decision. There was once talk of the principle of subsidiarity but it seems that it is being pushed aside as it was in the debacle over the Third Rite.
At the moment the last thing we need is more rules from central office on the other side of the world. What we do need is more local decisions, which suit the needs of the local Church, including those members who do not come to Mass.
Margaret Hebblethwaite, in the London Tablet (29/7/00) p 1009, mentions two surveys taken a couple of years ago, in Sydney and Melbourne, which revealed that 97 per cent and 94 per cent respectively of young people had abandoned Mass-going within a year of leaving Catholic secondary school.
Are these “minor changes” aimed at bringing the young people back to Mass-going? Or is this just another step backward to the “Good Old Days” (GOD) syndrome? It certainly looks like it.
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