This week, one writer to the Catholic Herald claims a fuss is being made over nothing and that Rome is being heavy-handed.
Hmm, now I think to those occasions, when at the Pauline Mass, the sign of peace is given.
As extreme as it sounds, in some places it actually reminds me of the Last Night of the Proms. Anyone and everyone feels the need to leave their place to join hands with everyone else. Crossing the church up and down, left to right. It is messy and far from reverent.
I grimace, remain statuesque but return the gesture to those who offer it. Why? because Holy Mother Church says so.
Of course, the CDW should not have to bring clarity, the General Instructions of the Roman Missal are quite clear :
"It is, ... appropriate that each person offer the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner."
Why do those who promote these antics (worse still, priests who come down from the sanctuary), forget that whilst they turn their back to traverse the church, that on the Altar, having been consecrated and truly present, are Our Lord's Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Why would we want to turn our back on Our Lord Jesus Christ? He is the Prince of Peace and is most certainly the perfect sign of peace!
In the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, things are so much different. You can read more about the Kiss of Peace, or the Pax here.