Yes, that is the war-cry of some who insist that Mass ad orientem is a terrible thing, and it makes the congregation excluded, and it feels like a show, and it kills the spiritual life with its detachment, and…
If you think it’s rude, well, first of all, the current Holy Father would disagree (I suggest you read his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy; it really is something). The Pope’s opinion cast aside, however, I’d like to call your attention to a statement made early on in the Mass: “Brethren, let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries“. That last little phrase is very telling, and it’s worth observing in isolation:
Definition of a mystery: something which can not be completely understood or known. Sacred is synonymous with “holy”. Thus, in the phrase “Sacred Mysteries” we have “holy things which can not be completely understood or known”. What could such a thing be? I’ll offer my view: the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist is certainly sacred and certainly a mystery, since what appear to be mundane bread and wine are the flesh and blood of the Lord.
Mass wherein the priest is not looking toward the congregation, but toward God, better conveys the idea of the Mass as a “Sacred Mystery”. It brings with it a sense that the priest is not here to simply mingle with church-goers, but to do something great, magnanimous, and indeed, sacred. It also takes the focus of the Mass off the congregation, which should not be the focal point anyway. Christ on the altar should be the focal point, and when everyone, priest and congregation alike, faces Him, it is far more God-glorifying and God-centered.
Furthermore, it can’t be said that the priest ad orientem makes the congregation excluded. They’re facing the same direction, with the priest leading the congregation in this great mystery that is Mass.
Think about it.