Yes, these are Catholics!
How much supervision do the laity need when it comes to the manner in which they participate at Mass?
Now that I celebrate the EF Mass frequently and ad orientem as is the tradition for this Mass, I don't get distracted by either the good or less than good things that happen out in the congregation. I have no compulsion to observe, critique or even stop the Mass if I don't like what I see in order to correct it. I don't have to be a gestapo in ad orientem worship.
But when I face the congregation, I see people coming and going at the worst times possible, some chewing gum, others in a day dream and still others doing their own thing, like striking their breast as in the old Mass when it isn't mandated in the new; some who pray the rosary or have their head buried in a book or read the bulletin. And now people use electronic devices to follow the Mass or to watch something else or to text message!!!
At what point should a priest or liturgist be a gestapo supervisor of the congregation? In a previous parish, I had people raising their hands at the Gloria and other times of "praise." I never went to anyone and asked them to stop, but I did preach about commonly observed postures during Mass and that we shouldn't necessarily be doing our own thing although there is room for personal piety even in a communal liturgical celebration. At what point does that personal piety or the exercise of a pious option (like kneeing for Holy Communion or genuflecting before receiving) become a distraction to the community and an untoward desire for attention to one's personal piety and sanctity, if not acknowledgement of being a penitent sinner in public?
And of course holding hands during prayer isn't prescribed, but if I don't see it should I care?
I remember immediately after Vatican II some priests did become gestapos to get the people to participate in a rigid, communal way. Rosaries were yanked out of little old women's hands and shoved in their pocket books. One priest during the procession, stopped, opened a hymnal and shoved it into the hands of a parishioner who was not singing!
Some priests locked the doors once Mass began so that people couldn't leave or come in after Mass started!
Where does it all end? Is there more gestapo behavior from priests and so-called liturgists since Vatican II than there was before as it concerns how the laity participate during Mass? Is there more clericalism today than in yesteryear?????