on the mass...
From what I can understand (from a Protestant and very brief point of view), here's the scoop (after reading Jimmy Akin).
The Roman Catholic Church has a "Mass" (not sneer quotes, simply putting quotes around a specific term used in a specific way - that is the document of the translation) that is universally used. The Council of Trent established the mass in Latin - and each local parish had to use that Latin Mass in that language, regardless of what the vernacular was.
Vatican II introduced that same "Mass", only approved to be translated and used in other languages (the vernacular). Because of the language used in that document, it was translated to mean that the Latin form was prohibited (although permission could be granted to use the Latin form). Jimmy Akin wrote, "The use of the phrase "a special indult" is noteworthy here. The establishment of so-called "indult" Masses suggested to many that the former use of Mass had been prohibited and that it could now only be celebrated by indult (concession), requiring permission."
From what I understand, in this new document the Bishop of Rome is stating that in masses (no quotes here because it's referring to the ceremony, not the document) celebrated without "the people", the priest can use whichever form he desires (except on "any day except in the sacred triduum").
For public masses,
Art. 5.1. In parishes where a group of faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably, let the pastor willingly accede to their requests for the celebration of the holy Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962.
There is a group of Roman Catholics (who have broken from "the church" - again not a sneer quote, merely a designation of the difference between Christ's bride and the structure of the Roman Catholic Church) in defiance of Vatican II; one of the points of difference is that they continue to celebrate mass in Latin. This document is pretty much wooing them back, saying "okay. If there is a group of faithful that prefers the old language, let the pastor accede."
So (my understanding is that) if there is a congregation that prefers to use the Latin Mass, they can do that without special permission.
And? I guess I don't understand what the big deal is about letting a congregation worship in the language of their choice. I realize that Rome has the "Mass", and it's still "Mass" whether it's in Latin or Chinese.
Unless a congregation is in full subjection to Rome, it is not a "true church" (according to the Roman Catholic definition).
"That document set off a storm of criticism from Protestant and Anglican leaders who felt that the Vatican was failing to take into account progress made towards re-establishing Christian unity in talks with Rome over a period of many years."
Um...this should come as no surprise. It's no secret that the Roman Catholic Church believes herself to be the only true leader of the Christian religion. Take a look around the blogosphere to find out how Roman Catholic apologists see Protestants.
Those Protestant and Anglican leaders who felt that the Vatican was failing to take into account progress...
have themselves failed to take into account that what the Vatican sees as progress is...working toward a time when
"..all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning. We believe that this unity subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time." (Unitatis Redintegratio)
In short, the Vatican's definition of "ecumenism" is bringing all Christians under the subjection of the Bishop of Rome.
Any Protestant or Anglican that believes the Vatican did not take into account this definition has a case of "cranial-rectal inversion".
The Vatican has had no intention of cooperating. The Vatican intends to subjugate.
This statement by the Bishop of Rome is no different than any of the councils in all of history; Rome has never had any intention of anything other than bring all together in the name of Rome.
Hat Tip for the Gledhill article, "The Boar's Head Tavern"