For those favouring an eventual 'reform of the reform' of the Latin Rite Mass following decades of misinformation in the 'spirit' of Vatican II, there has been much to be thankful for in recent years.
On the one hand, improvements are under way in the English Missal translation for the Novus Ordo Mass after over 30 years' use of an inferior, hastily produced text.
On the other, we have Benedict XVI's motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, allowing unlimited scope for celebrations of the 1962 Missal - what the Pope calls the 'extraordinary' form of the Latin Rite, as distinct from the 'ordinary' form which is the post-Vatican II Novus Ordo.
As the report on page 3 indicates, two Australian archbishops are playing a major role in improvements to the Novus Ordo English translation while a third, Cardinal Pell, is chairman of the Vox Clara Committee which oversees the drafting process to ensure it remains in line with John Paul II's guidelines in Liturgiam Authenticam.
A second report (pages 10-11) illustrates how Australia's bishops have been responding positively to Benedict's motu proprio, with celebrations of the 'extraordinary' form of the Mass in several cathedrals in recent weeks.
Included in that report is an interview with the Secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Liturgy and the Discipline of the Sacraments who offers forthright views on abuses in the Novus Ordo along with the need for the world's bishops to cooperate fully with the terms of Benedict's motu proprio.
With gradual improvements to the Novus Ordo, including the re- introduction of a little Latin here and there, and the emergence of younger priests more attuned to the Church's liturgical rubrics than some of their older confreres have been, the gap between the 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary' forms of the Latin Rite will gradually narrow with obvious benefits for both and the overall spiritual climate in parishes.
Michael Gilchrist is Editor of AD2000 (email address available on request).