To quote Pope Benedict from his book "Spirit of the Liturgy"
Moving the Altar cross to the side [of the Altar] to give an uninterrupted view of the priest is something I regard as one of the truly absurd phenomena of recent decades. Is the cross disruptive during Mass? Is the priest more important than the Lord? This mistake should be corrected as quickly as possible; it can be done without further rebuilding. The Lord is the point of reference. He is the rising sun of history. That is why there could be a cross of the Passion, which represents the suffering Lord who for us let his side be pierced, from which flowed blood and water (Eucharist and Baptism), as well as a cross of triumph, which expresses the idea of the Second Coming and guides our eyes toward it. For it is always the one Lord: Crhist yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8).
This is the High Altar of the Basilica of St John Lateran. So we hope that the new Marini (recently appointed Papal MC) will address this. Just a job that would take a few seconds cost=0, level of effort = 0, benefits to the people - boundless.
By the way, this is the oldest church in Rome, being commissioned and financed by the Roman Emperor Constantine, who has his statue (carved in his lifetime) at the front door. It was dedicated this church to the Holy Saviour sometime after hs defeat of his rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312AD.
Of course looking at the Altar from this angle (the position of the celebrant) I am facing perfect East to the front doors of the church.
Behind me is the glorious Papal Throne, surmounted by a mosaic of the Blessed Trinity. The mosaic has been altered at least twice, the latest being during the reign of Nicholas IV (1288-92). Pope Nicholas had himself added to the mosaic with St Francis and St Anthony of Padua, as he was a Franciscan Pope. It did wreck the composition a bit as Our Lady (the first figure on the left of the cross) was changed from the orans attiude of prayer to resting one hand upon the Pope's tiara.
This is certainly what Benedict was talking about in his book.