(More Latin? Hopefully this is easy enough for you to translate.)
As promised, this is the first of a set of articles about the two recent documents coming from the Vatican: Summorum Pontificum, a motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, and Responsa ad Quaestiones from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), of which the Pope was the prefect when he was known as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. I will treat both documents separately in their own articles, but I will also speak of them together in this article. They are intrinsically connected to one another, because they reaffirm the same timeless Truth: Ecclesia una est (Catechismum Catholica Ecclesiae, 813).
The Pope's motu proprio explains that the Mass of Paul VI (the "Vatican II Mass" or the Novus Ordo Missae) and the Mass of Blessed John XXIII (the "Tridentine Mass" or the Vetus Ordo Missae) are two expressions (or forms, or usus in Latin) of the one Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church (cf. Summorum Pontificum, art. 1). The Mass of Paul VI is the ordinary form of the Rite, whereas the Mass of Blessed John XXIII is the extraordinary form of the Rite.
The Pope goes on to liberalize the celebration of Mass using the older Missal: no longer must the faithful (whether clergy or laity) request permission from their Bishop (cf. ibid., art. 2, 4, 5§1). If the requests of the group of lay faithful (which is "continuously present" per Fr. Zuhlsdorf's translation -- the Latin reads continenter exsistit) are not met by their pastor, their Bishop is to be notified; he may, in turn, contact Ecclesia Dei, the commission set up by Pope John Paul II in 1988 to handle affairs regarding the celebration of Mass according to the older Missal (cf. ibid., art. 7, 8). The document goes into effect on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, September 14, 2007.
The other document, which garnered a lot of negative press in the mainstream media (due to an apparent inability to read), answered five questions about Catholic doctrine: did Vatican II change the doctrine on the Church, why does Lumen Gentium say the Church of Christ "subsists in" the Catholic Church (two questions), and how does the Catholic Church use the word "Church" in reference to non-Catholic Christian communities (two questions). The document and the commentary that accompanies it respond to these five questions by quoting numerous documents from the Church, showing that nothing has changed in the teaching of the Church. The five responses have 736 words, and nearly 40% of them are explicit quotes from other documents. This isn't new teaching, folks.
So there you have it. The Church is one in its worship -- there is one Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, expressed in two forms -- and it is one in its essence -- Christ established one Church, and although various elements of this Church are found in various places of Christian worship, the only place all of them are retained in perpetuity is the Catholic Church.
More articles will follow. This is a busy week for me: the Perseids meteor shower late Sunday night, my New Testament final exam on Tuesday night, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Wednesday, and a Parish Pastoral Council meeting on Thursday night. Hopefully I'll get one more post up this week.