Prior to the Second Vatican Council, let's say around the 1950's, vocations to the priesthood and religious life were extremely high. In fact dioceses, seminaries and religious orders had the luxury of excluding aspirants even for the smallest infraction of the rules; there was a waiting list of others who wanted to enter. In addition, the way in which priests and religious lived was rather austere and severe, especially for women religious. Yet, idealistic young people were drawn to the austerity, the discipline and the rigid uniformity that existed at least to the public's eye.
Apart from those who taught in schools, there was not as much interaction between the clergy, religious and the laity; this was especially true of religious orders. There were strict lines of demarcation on how a priest would interface with his parishioners and religious with those under their charge especially in a school setting.
In parishes, priests heard confessions with parishioners behind a screen in a separate booth. Technically a lay person, especially a woman, was not to sit in the front seat of a car with a priest. Priests didn't greet people before Mass, they were expected to be vesting and meditating prior to Mass and in silence. They normally did not greet people at the end of Mass either. Their friends were to be brother priests, not their parishioners. Their parishioners were to be their parishioners, nothing more, nothing less.
When priests celebrated Mass, the Mass had three options, Low, which meant no singing of the parts of the Mass, although on Sunday a low Mass could include congregational hymns, four of them, that were really superfluous to the Mass's actual parts and not really necessary. Then there was the Sung or High Mass, which could include these same congregational hymns at the entrance, offertory, communion and recessional, but with all the other parts of the Mass sung by the choir. Then there was the Solemn High Mass, which included roles for deacon, sub deacon, lector and acoylte. This form of the Mass was seldom celebrated in most parishes.
Apart from these forms of the Mass there were not hybrids based on what the priest felt like doing and there was certainly no improvisation with the Latin texts. With the priest facing the same direction as the laity, and thus really configured to be a part of them in facing the same direction (the priest represents the congregation (Church) as the mediator of the sacrifice offered to God on their behalf just as he also represent "in persona Christi," our Lord who technically is the one mediator between God and man. In fact Christ does this through His Divine Personhood, which He continues to exercise even in His Risen Body: a Human nature and a Divine nature. Thus the ordained priest symbolizes these two aspects of Christ when the priest celebrates Mass at the altar, representing both aspects of the Church, the Body of Christ (all the baptized, clergy and laity) and her Head, Jesus Christ. In a true sense you can say that the visible mystical Body of Christ on earth is the sacramental sign of His Risen Body to the world. Christ's body even in the Church is one Divine Person (Second Person of the Blessed Trinity) with two natures, human and divine.
While the Ordinary Form of the Mass in no way was meant to diminish the role of the priest if one reads the documents and General Instruction to this missal, it does allow for flexibility in the celebration of the Mass and creativity and improvisation on the part of the priest. With the OF Mass, there are really two choices, a Mass with music and a Mass without music. There is no more the distinction between low, high and solemn high. You can mix and match, sing some parts, leave others out, have progressive solemnity depending on the Sunday, the Mass, or the time of the year. It is all up to either the priest or some ubiquitous liturgy committee to decide. It can be in Latin or least some parts (seldom done today) or totally in the vernacular or bi,tri or multiples of many, many languages.
The rubrics of the OF state that the priest at certain points can use "these" or "similar" words, thus allowing for long introductions to the Mass and editorials at other places. Because of the vernacular, the priest often thinks that he can improve upon the translated vernacular by using simpler or more complex language even for the parts of the Mass where he technically is not allow to change. This is particularly true for the vernacular parts of the Mass which feminists believe to be sexist.
In addition to this, the loss of a distinctly priestly identity which Vatican II in no way foresaw or promulgated, led priests and religious to mingle with the laity as though there were no distinctions whatsoever, not even professionalism. This opened Pandora's box to romantic liaisons and subsequent divorces, marriages and the leaving of the clerical or vowed state of life. This blurring of identity also exacerbated those who would relate to children and teenagers instead of adults and saw their companionship develop with them rather than healthy relationships with their own peers. Thus the peak of the sex abuse scandal occurred approximately around 1972-1974, not that it did not happen prior to the Second Vatican Council, just not in the scope it did afterward and for the obvious reasons above.
Fr. Stephan Rossetti also has commented on the Ordinary Form of the Mass and the rubric that the priest constantly facing the congregation and extending his arms wide open during prayer and greetings which comes across to certain laity who are predisposed, to read this as "come and get me!" By this he means in a friendship and romantic way that has led to so many priests being seduced and seducing others. Seeing the face of the priest throughout the Mass and with his grand bodily gestures has created a rather unhealthy attachment to the priest by some in the congregation that boarders on the romantic. And sadly the same is true for the priest who constantly looks out at an adoring congregation. Sometimes the priests misinterpret the gestures, facial expression and friendship that is extended as meaning them personally rather than whom it is they represent, Jesus Christ. It is easy to do!
So my solution is what is occurring already in the Church--more professionalism by the clergy and religious as it concerns the manner in which they relate to those they minister, more boundaries, more prayer and spirituality, a clear distinction between clergy and laity and a Mass where the gestures are sober and the personality and looks of the priest are hidden. We can have all of these without changing one thing in the OF form of the Mass except the direction the priest faces. Think about it and your comments please.