Cardinal Nichols Asks Priests To Face Him During Mass

July 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Libs & Trads

In response to Cardinal Sarah’s remarks on celebrating the liturgy ad orientem, Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols wrote to his priests yesterday confirming his wish that all priests should face him while celebrating Mass.

Nichols cited rubric 299a of his edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), which says, “The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated facing me, which is desirable wherever possible.”

Noting that Cardinal Sarah’s preference for priests to “rudely turn their back to me” as they pray to God is technically allowed by the rubrics of the Novus Ordo, Cardinal Nichols reminds his clergy that the standard practice of facing him is still the “preferred posture,” noting that “the position towards me seems more convenient inasmuch as it makes communication easier.”

Nichols himself places a small mirror on the altar when he celebrates Mass, in order to follow this important rubric and to be an example to his priests.

Despite Cardinal Sarah’s remarks in London last week that celebration toward the East “is a very important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at the center,” Cardinal Nichols is careful to correct Sarah’s misunderstanding and guaranteeing that the celebration of Mass within his jurisdiction to be centered around him.

  • GregoryDiPippo

    Once again, you win the internet this week!

    • JFarinholt

      That makes twice this week!

  • AuthenticBioethics

    Liturgical Electronics, Ltd, announced a joint venture with His Eminence to develop a pectoral cross with GPS and a corresponding altar crucifix that rotates in the direction of the Cardinal, so that the celebrating priest always knows which way to face when the Cardinal is not actually present. The altar crucifix will also have a built-in microphone to make communication easier.

    • Margarett Cahill Zavodny


    • More Tea Vicar?


  • TheAfroSam

    :slow clap:

  • Jeanne Marie

    praying for him

  • Piece_Of_Milk

    “Cardinal Nichols is careful to correct Sarah’s misunderstanding and guaranteeing…” Humour works better when the writer has command over his sentences.

    • samton909

      No it do not.

  • Monk

    Funny thing, I’ve been tempted to turn my back to the priest on a number of occasions.

  • Thibaud313

    “Rubric 299a of the GIRM” : I think Eye of the Tiber just invented the sub-genre of “Liturgical Canon Law humor”.

  • More Tea Vicar?

    The only direction I’d recommend is that Cardinal ”Mutley” Nichols turns his face to the corner and wear a dunces hat.

  • Hilarious. Wow that’s one of the best I’ve seen on this site in a long time.

  • Paul

    This old arm chair cardinal should retire, a product of the 60’s crowd, he wants this to be a priest focus mass not a GOD focus mass, you pray to him and the priest prays to you. Get with it and retire

    • KJL

      Obligatory mention
      “Disclaimer: all articles contained within this website are pure satire!”

      • Monk

        That something is presented as satire doesn’t make it necessarily completely untrue. Some priests have obvious ego problems.