Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster wrote a letter to the priests of his diocese discouraging them from saying Mass while facing the same direction of the people.
While acknowledging that the Congregation for Divine Worship has confirmed that liturgical law allows priests to offer Mass while turned in the same direction as the people, he nevertheless suggested this is an illegitimate personal preference.
Mass is "not the time for priests to exercise personal preference or taste," Cardinal Nichols wrote, according to the Catholic Herald.
Fr. Lombardi also used his statement to add in a comment that Pope Francis "has expressly mentioned that the 'ordinary' form of the celebration of Mass is that provided by the Missal promulgated by Paul VI, whereas the 'extraordinary', which was permitted by Pope Benedict XVI for the purpose and in the manner explained by him in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, must not take the place of the 'ordinary.'"
In Summorum Pontificum Benedict XVI had, in fact, clarified rather that the extraordinary form was "never abrogated" and "in principle, was always permitted".
Fr. Lombardi then reiterated that "there are therefore no foreseen new liturgical directives starting next Advent, as some have improperly deduced from some of Cardinal Sarah's words."
He added that "it is better to avoid using the expression 'the reform of the reform', in referring to the liturgy, since it can at times be a source of misunderstandings."
Cardinal Sarah had said we cannot "dismiss the possibility or the desirability of an official reform of the liturgical reform," adding that "if we are to implement Sacrosanctum Concilium more faithfully, if we are to achieve what the Council desired, this is a serious question which must be carefully studied and acted on with the necessary clarity and prudence."
The cardinal had also recommended that a "full and rich celebration" of the extraordinary form of the liturgy "should be an important part fo liturgical formation of clergy," reasoning that "how can we begin to comprehend or celebrate the reformed rites with a hermeneutic of continuity if we have never experienced the beauty of the liturgical tradition which the Fathers of the Council themselves knew?"
Fr. Lombardi concluded, saying, "all this was expressly agreed during a recent audience granted by the Pope to the same Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship."