Fr Ray Blake poses the following questions in a piece about celebration versus populo:
So, why do we do it?Does anyone know why it became almost universal?
Easy! Most of us are by now aware of the ideological history and discredited rationale behind this aberrant fad, but its present ubiquity boils down to a single factor: we do it because the Pope does it.
In the Latin Church of the modern era, it’s what the Pope does today, rather than what the Church did yesterday, that establishes in practice the operative norm. "I am Tradition!". A single, televised Papal Mass can therefore consign to oblivion an Apostolic tradition, or a mountain of dead-in-the-water paper exhortations.
Summorum Pontificum does two things with startling economy: it rescues the Liturgy (facta non verba), and it restates the permanent force of objective Tradition. That’s why it’s the most important document in 150 years. The most significant act will be that first public, Papal celebration ad orientem.