I notice that you said this Mass was a High Mass or as it is sometimes called a Solemn Mass The type of Mass where the people said the responses were called Dialogue Masses and they were Low Masses. There are big differences in the two, singing versus reciting, use of Deacon and Sub Deacon as opposed to acolytes and altar boys , incensing etc. Dialogue Masses never really hit it off too big in the States. I have noticed that some of the Indult Masses have them though.
While I think your Priest handled the situation a bit badly, and did not explain it well, the congregation is really not supposed to respond in a High Mass, at least not in a voice loud enough to interfere with the Choir’s singing or with the Clerical responses at the altar. That is probably what he meant. Also any dialogue Mass had to be approved by the local Bishop.
As far as blessings go, some Priests will do them and others won’t and I think that is within their discretion… I do know that many used to not do it because they felt that only those receiving and thus in a state of grace should be at the communion rail. Instead they would give a blessing to the children and such after Mass. It was not uncommon in the old days to see quite a few people kneeling throughout communion in the pews. They would always say that they forgotten the fast or something like that.