Yes, a real bombshell in the liturgical sense in terms of ad orientem! Pope Francis today, Thursday, October 31 had his daily Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the side chapel altar where Blessed Pope John Paul II is entombed. Pope Francis celebrated the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem for the first time, publicly, as pope.
What is so important about this is that he chose not to have a portable altar set up in front of the attached altar but rather celebrated ad orientem. Keep in mind that Pope Francis' first Mass in the Sistine Chapel, he required a portable altar be set up in front of the magnificent altar and historic altar there.
While it is obvious that the Holy Father prefers facing the congregation, although is style of celebrating Mass is in an "ad orientem sort of way" including maintaining all these months the Benedictine Altar arrangement, he is not opposed to the Ordinary Form of the Mass being celebrated ad orientem just as Pope Benedict did on certain occasions. This is bombshell good news indeed!
Keep in mind that it was this pope, Pope Francis that approved the new Anglican Use Mass that clearly allows for ad orientem, kneeling for Holy Communion and the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the EF's Offertory Prayers, the EF's rubrics for the Roman Canon and the Last Gospel.
He distributes to this day, Holy Communion by way of intinction to the deacons of his Masses who kneel before him.
PRESS HERE FOR A YOUTUBE PRESENTATION OF THIS MASS BY VATICAN RADIO