Over the weekend, various stories have broken and hints emerged regarding the Motu Proprio "releasing" the 1962 Missal.
The most significant is an interview with Cardinal Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, which appeared in the French Le Figaro:
[Secretary of State] Cardinal Bertone: The merit of the conciliar liturgical reform is intact. But both [for reasons of] not losing the great liturgical heritage left by Saint Pius V and for granting the wish of those faithful who desire to attend Masses according to this rite, within the framework of the Missal published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, with its own calendar, there is no valid reason not to grant to every priest in the world* the right to celebrate according to this form. The authorization of the Supreme Pontiff would evidently preserve the validity of the rite of Paul VI. The publication of the motu proprio which specifies this authorisation will take place, but it will be the pope himself who will explain his motivations and the framework of his decision. The Sovereign Pontiff will personally explain his vision for the use of the ancient Missal to the Christian people, and particularly to the Bishops.
So, the existence of the MP is definitely confirmed, if there were still any more doubters.
The remaining question then is, the exact terms of the MP, the Pope's explanation, and ...well..the date.
I've read some comments in comments sections of other blogs saying, "Hey, who needs an explanation? Let the Pope do his thing!"
Well, obviously, there needs to be an explanation on about a thousand levels:
*To reassure those who will freeze up and think, "WHAT? ARE WE GOING BACK TO BEFORE VATICAN II?"
*To explain, in this most opportune moment, so much about the nature of the Mass, to explain history, the relationship of the present to the past in Catholic liturgical tradition, the nature of liturgical development, the opportunity this presents...etc. As one who values Benedict's gifts as a teacher, I'm looking forward to his explanation very much.
Now, for the date:
We heard last week from a friend in Rome who had heard from a well-known Catholic laywoman who had met with the Pope that he told her, in answer to a direct question on the date of the release, "May."
Update 5/4: In the weeks since, the person has been revealed to be Alice von Hildebrand. She related this story at a conference in Detroit last week, and I've had it confirmed to me by a friend of hers in an email.
Other relevant links:
Catholic News Service has a story on the MP with an interesting sentence:
But some Vatican officials believe that aspect has been overblown. More than making peace with Archbishop Lefebvre's followers, they said, the pope is trying to make peace with the church's own tradition.
You'd hope to see that kind of clarity from CNS, and to indeed, see it, bodes well for the coverage of the matter.
6. You have written 500 blog posts and 480 of them have been about the Motu Proprio.
From the Banshee:
10. Your browser’s homepage is now the news page at vatican.va. The one in Italian.
I have the basics of the "Motu Proprio Tip Sheet" that I hope will sort of virally get out there to any journalists who will be covering it. It's here. I have a couple more posts to write, and obviously there are blanks. If you have corrections to it, points or links that might help, please add them in the comments (moderated, so again, just post once.) Remember - I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible. The one aspect I know needs a little work is the section about exactly what the 1570 Missal was. But remember..short and sweet!