Rumors are flying about everywhere that Pope Benedict has already signed an order that would put in place a universal indult for the Tridentine Mass, allowing any priest to celebrate the Mass without having to receive permission from his bishop first. According to these rumors, the document will be presented at the meeting of the curial heads with the pope this April 7, a followup to their earlier meeting which discussed the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.
Since his election, many people have speculated that a universal indult was around the corner, based on what Cardinal Ratzinger had written about liturgy in the years before. Could this finally be the fruition of that speculation? Well, there’s no way to know until he announces it.
On the one hand, you have to keep in kind that the loudest voices spreading this rumor are in the Italian media, which is not known for, shall we say, diligently separating fact from rumor. On the other hand, sources outside the Italian media, including some very reliable ones, say that they hear things are afoot, although they cannot say definitively what that is.
So we just have to keep waiting and watching.