T WOULD BE A GRAVE ERROR to imagine that the principal orientation of the sacrificial action is toward the community. If the priest celebrates versus populum, which is legitimate and often advisable, his spiritual attitude ought always to be versus Deum per Jesum Christum, as representative of the whole Church. Furthermore, the Church, which takes concrete form in the assembly which participates, is entirely orientated versus Deum in its first spiritual movement.
In other words, Mass “facing the people” should not exist, strictly speaking … at least according to that Vatican statement.
Here’s the official statement from 25 September 2000:
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