I want to make an appeal to all priests. You may have read my article in L’Osservatore Romano one year ago (12 June 2015) or my interview with the journal Famille Chrétienne in May of this year. On both occasions I said that I believe that it is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes, in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God. This practice is permitted by current liturgical legislation. It is perfectly legitimate in the modern rite. Indeed, I think it is a very important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at the centre.
|Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship|
Jesuit Fr. Bruce Morrill, professor of Catholic studies at Vanderbilt University, said the cardinal’s office could issue a directive mandating “ad orientem” Masses without changing the whole missal.
A directive, he said, would require approval from the Vatican and would be released in an official statement from the Congregation for Divine Worship.
“This is not official; he was speaking to an annual meeting of an erratic conservative group. Those directives don’t happen in speeches and interviews” like those Sarah has given, Morrill said.
I entirely agree. “Directives… don’t happen in speeches and interviews.”
Except when it's Pope Francis on an airplane.