Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Restored Pauline Chapel in the Vatican: What's this about the Altar?

Doctor Robert Moynihan, editor of 'Inside the Vatican Magazine' is currently publishing from Rome, an extremely interesting series of news flashes for his subscibers. Each one has dealt with several subjects. Today he is particularly interesting, amongst other things, on the restoration of the Altar in the title of this post.

Quote: "The altar...has been restored. Benedict made the decision in February this year. Paul VI had selected a new, modern altar, and moved it away from the back wall of the chapel. Benedict, when he came in to look at the nearly-finished restoration work in February, ordered that the old altar be put back closer to the wall, but leaving a small space so that the tabernacle could be reached (the tabernacle is directly behind the altar, and it would be too far for the priest to lean across the altar and open the tabernacle, so the Pope, instead of moving the tabernacle from the very center of the chapel wall, had the altar moved just about a yard away from the wall). Mass will no longer be celebrated in this chapel with the priest facing toward the people, but with both priest and people facing the tabernacle, the cross above it, and the East."

Now, uncharacteristically Dr Moynihan does not give his source for this information, which in my reading is not totally free of ambiguity. as I'm sure readers will ascertain for themselves!

Apparently the chapel has been under restoration for eight years and Pope Benedict will conduct a 'service of inauguration' on Saturday evening. It is not clear what form this service will take.

It is time for supper. I hope to post again on this matter asap.

As always, may God bless all here and protect and guide our Holy Father.


Father Mark said...

Dear Jane, So good to hear from you!

Jane said...

Thank you Father! Storms and consequent power cuts have delayed the promised next post about the altar. Coming up this afternoon, I hope!

lome said...

Just about time. Please bring back the old Latin mass. Put everything back to pre-Vatican 2.Support Pope Benedict XVI and help unite the Church and further understand the Roman Catholic Church have enemies with in!