pope Benedict like many people...is ..full of contradictions.
I myself am surely full of contradictions.
All you have to do is watch EWTN and many of your questions would be answered.
It is streamed online 24/7 if you have high speed access.
Here are my answers which may not be strictly accurate, but are generally so.
No, most if not ALL publicly celebrated masses are done in the made up "versus populum" form.
Privately and for masses which receive less publicity, he has celebrated ad orientem.
This appears to be because this is a symbolic move to not face people and the liberal local bishops become afraid or extra rebellious if he does this. It is "politically unacceptable" (so much for his authority right?),
The Big six candles with elaborate holders and Crucifix are I think ALWAYS used.
90% of the mass is said in latin, except for the intercessions for the people, gospel, epistle and lesson (homily/sermon), which are in fact often read by guest lay people or clerics from different countries and different languages.
Of all the things I think music has improved the most.
This is actually a good thing. Medieval Chant and 16th c polyphonic settings are much more common place than they were 5 years ago.
However, so far, this has little effect on the typical Latin parish church, which continues to use the guitar and modernist/secular/protestant style hymnody globdeygook almost as much as it did 10 years ago. However many of the suburban parishes in the USA are more cutting edge and have made more improvements towards tradition..but this is still..incrementally..maybe 10% better than 2000. There is a long way to go for the average parish..it is still immensely unorthodox musically.
Pope benedict is apparently a hypocrit in many ways, or at least someone who is very difficult for the average individual to understand in terms of liturgical matters, it is rightfully most confusing.
This is one of the grave concerns many traditionalist catholics which support the pre-vat II Latin Mass have of him within in the past 3 years that he has not been radical enough, and brought only small doses of change.
In fact there has almost been a depression amongst many that the 1962 form Latin Mass to celebrate his papal anniversay which was successful last in April of 2010 at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception has been cancelled for 2011. The Paulus Institute which tried to schedule it again found great opposition to it from Donald Cardinal Wuerl who was last year only an Archbishop. Essentially certain US bishops and or Cardinals, such as Wuerl, feel threatened by traditional latin catholics and fear that if 5000 of them regularly show up on the footsteps of the largest basilica in the USA..the pandoras box of "bad nasty pre-vatican II era" will be opened wide forevermore.
Since the 2007 papal motu proprio "Summorum pontificum" supposedly freeing the usage of the Latin mass, many catholics try to unite and have this ancient form of mass celebrated. They take polls, they pray rosaries, they send thousands of signatures to the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" in Rome complaining that their diocese will not allow celebrate of traditional masses. They have no responses. So far the bishops and priests are usually very much against it. This 2007 directive has ignored and maligned against bitterly by much of the latin hierarchy, which even at this moment appear to be finding new methods to subvert and destroy any of its influence to revive ancient tradition. The handful that support it are ostracized and punished privately.
I think this is a fair assessment and have been saddened that all the "power" and infallibility of the papacy is in reality, rather powerless and ineffectual. Since the post vatican II era, bishops hold the real power, perhaps they always have.
Orthodoxy makes sense because at least it acknowledges that which is impossible...whereas for the Latin church the impossible is acknowledged as reality..
If the Orthodox Church is seen as an embarrassment and joke because of it's jurisdictional and or ethnic rivalries/lack of unity, the Latin Catholic church is also seen as an embarrassment due to it's papal authority/centralization being rather illusionary and rarely making an appearance in terms of supporting the "Orthodox" form of ancient latin liturgy.