Traditional Latin Mass: Highway to Catholicism's Future!

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Traditional Latin Mass Welcomed by Catholics

The magazine-format newspaper, The Economist, on Dec 15th 2012 published an article entitled  “A traditionalist avant-garde: It’s trendy to be a traditionalist in the Catholic church”.

 “The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, started in 1965, now has over 5,000 members. The weekly number of Latin masses is up from 26 in 2007 to 157 now. In America it is up from 60 in 1991 to 420. At Brompton Oratory, a hotspot of London traditionalism, 440 flock to the main Sunday Latin mass. That is twice the figure for the main English one. Women sport mantillas (lace headscarves). Men wear tweeds.

“But it is not a fogeys’ hangout: the congregation is young and international. Like evangelical Christianity, traditional Catholicism is attracting people who were not even born when the Second Vatican Council tried to rejuvenate the church. Traditionalist groups have members in 34 countries, including Hong Kong, South Africa and Belarus. Juventutem, a movement for young Catholics who like the old ways, boasts scores of activists in a dozen countries. Traditionalists use blogs, websites and social media to spread the word—and to highlight recalcitrant liberal dioceses and church administrators, who have long seen the Latinists as a self-indulgent, anachronistic and affected minority. In Colombia 500 people wanting a traditional mass had to use a community hall (they later found a church).”

https://www.economist.com/

For a chart of the Traditional Latin Mass’s growth, see https://onepeterfive.com/

In a 2008 survey by the CARA Institute of Georgetown University, 45% of practising Catholics in the USA would attend the Traditional Latin Mass if they had the possibility. (cara.georgetown.edu/NewsandPress/PressReleases/pr082409.pdf)

By contrast with a survey conducted in the 1980s the number of those opposed to the ancient form of the Mass had dropped from 35% to 12%.

In England and Wales, according to a 2010 poll (http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/ ) 43 per cent of practising Catholics would attend the traditional Latin Mass every week if it were offered in their parish.

“John Medlin, general manager of the Latin Mass Society, said: ‘Broadly speaking these results are the same across Europe. They indicate that among Catholics who take interest in their faith, although there is great ignorance, once people are made aware of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum there is a willingness for people in large numbers to accept the Extraordinary Form’.”

Though figures on attendance at Latin Masses are not available, there is evidence interest is growing. The International Una Voce Federation, lay groups associated with the Latin Mass, said member organizations are growing in all parts of the world.

A USA TODAY article of Mar 12, 2015  “Latin Mass resurgent 50 years after Vatican II” also notes the comeback of the ancient Mass. See  (https://www.usatoday.com

The journalist attributed the resurgence to Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum of 2007.

“Interested Catholics now realize it’s not some peculiar thing tucked away in an embarrassed corner,” said Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society based in the United Kingdom. “Once they’re in the door, the Mass speaks for itself.”

“I think people are drawn to the Mass’ beauty and depth and its internal coherence,” said James Bogle, president of the international Una Voce Federation which has grown considerably since 2007.”

Traditional Latin Mass Popular especially among Youth

“There is a movement among young Catholics to know, discover and preserve their Catholic heritage, and the traditional Latin Mass fits in with that,” said Joseph Kramer, a Rome-based priest and longtime advocate of the Latin Mass [in the same USA Today article quoted above]. “I think they are drawn to the liturgical richness of the past.”

A youth movement, Fœderatio Internationalis Juventutem, was founded in 2006 by individuals from 16 countries: Russia, Germany, Australia, Italy, China, Ireland, Brazil, Great-Britain, France, USA, Hungary, Switzerland, Kenya, Spain, The Netherlands and Austria. The first American chapter of Juventutem began in Michigan in 2012, and since then 11 additional chapters have been formed in the United States. http://juventutem.org/

Where the Traditional Mass flourishes, vocations thrive

Rorate Caeli blog, while analyzing the situation of priestly vocations in France (https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com ) noted the following:

“- as a result that the numbers of “ordinary” [i.e. the Novus Ordo vernacular Mass] seminatians collapses and that those of the “extraordinary” [i.e. Traditional Latin Mass] ones remain stable, the proportion continues to increasingly grow in favor of the “extraordinary” ones (a little over 16% [of the total] compared to a little less than 84%);

“- however, in absolute numbers, there is stability, after constant growth in the preceding years (the French candidates for the priesthood for the Tridentine rite were 120 in 2005, 130 in 2007, 136 in 2008, 140 in 2009, 144 in 2010, 140 in 2011) – which is proportional to the very slow growth in the number of “extraordinary” celebrations;

“- … over 15% of this country´s seminarians are “generated” by at most 5% of all practicing Catholics – those who have access to the Traditional liturgy every Sunday. … Let us repeat it: over 15% of this country’s seminarians are “engendered” by less than 5% of practicing Catholics. This exceptional vocational breeding ground (which is exceptional not in itself, but relatively to a situation of collapse) could be considerably more relevant if a number of conditions were present.

“There is no space to examine them here, but they may be summarized thus: the “supply” of Traditional celebrations must correspond to the “demand” for it. Because if there are no more than 5% of practicing [Catholics] live their faith according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, at least one third of the faithful wish they were able to have the traditional liturgy in their parishes, the results of our surveys regularly indicate.”