Rorate Caeli

The statistics for every-Sunday TLM’s in 10 countries

Some French Catholic blogs (such as Perepiscopus) have recently published statistics on the number and percentage of “approved” Mass sites (those under diocesan auspices) out of the total every-Sunday Traditional Latin Mass sites (approved + those under SSPX and SSPX-related societies and chapels) in those countries that have a total of more than 20 such locations.

The statistics are, in turn, drawn from Agoramag's listing of TLM statistics for the whole world:

Lieux de culte où est célébrée la messe de saint pie V – Février 2010

The statistics have been published in some blogs in an attempt to determine the generosity of the local bishops in implementing Summorum Pontificum. Now, I think the methodology used here in determining “generosity” is wrong. The ratio of “authorized” to “unauthorized” Mass-sites does not necessarily demonstrate the generosity – or lack of it -- of the bishops, since the ratio is also influenced by the comparative vigor (or the absence) of the SSPX and the groups affiliated with it. France, for example, is no model for the implementation of the Motu Proprio, but the situations in Brazil, Italy and Canada are unquestionably far worse than in France, despite these countries having higher scores for “episcopal generosity” compared to the “eldest daughter of the Church”.


Nevertheless, the numbers as reported by Perepiscopus remain of interest and are presented below. (I have arranged the countries in terms of the total number of Mass sites with every-Sunday TLM’s, from the most numerous to the least, rather than from the highest score for “episcopal generosity” downwards.)


1) United States: 289 authorized every-Sunday TLM sites out of a total of 359 (80.5%)

2) France: 156 out of 312 (50%)

3) Germany: 49 out of 88 (55.7%)

4) Italy: 73 out of 86 (84.9%)

5) United Kingdom: 37 out of 53 (69.8%)

6) Brazil: 42 (including those in Campos) out of 48 (87.5%)

7) Switzerland: 21 out of 45 (46.6%)

8) Canada: 23 out of 39 (60%)

9) Australia: 17 out of 28 (60.7%)

10) Poland: 15 out of 26 (57.7%)

The disproportionate concentration of TLM’s in the United States and France cannot be overlooked, in the same way that the numbers in such large Catholic countries as Italy, Brazil and Poland can cause much disquiet (albeit these already represent a situation greatly improved from that of 10 years ago).

The statistics apparently leave out independent chapels and Mass sites associated with sedevacantist groups (even those that are staffed by priests with unquestionably valid orders).


21 comments:

benjoyce said...

According to this there are only about 750 approved Latin Masses in the world? Add in the unapproved and you have 1000+?

This is a paultry sum. Personally I see the great value of the Latin Mass vs the NO (written by a Freemason-yet it is valid) But clearly the rest of the world does not. It's not just the bishops. The lay people don't like the Latin Mass either. THEY HAVE BEEN CORRUPTED. When Jesuit Fr. Gelinuau (?sp) who helped the Masonically aligned Bugnini write the Mass, say, "We have destroyed the Roman rite" He was spot on (almost). Arn't the Freemasons smart?

The Church has been permeated with such a high level of error, bad liturgy, music, catachsis, missals, seminaries and sermons etc. that it will truely take a miracle to bring back the widespread use of the Latin Mass.

But this is God's plan which will Glorify the overwhelming power of God. Finally enough of God's Grace thru the Virgin Mary will be released and the Church will be set right.

J. Luke said...

A very interesting post, Mr. Palad. Thank you for relaying this information.

As to the perplexing situation of having comparatively fewer TLMs in the more heavily Catholic countries (even if at least nominally), such as Italy, Brazil and Poland, perhaps the implementation of the NO has had an influence. I have been told, and in some cases have observed first hand, that the NO in some of the aforementioned countries and other heavily Catholic countries did not include some of the grave abuses that we in the States have experienced. If one accepts the premise that outrage over the abuses of the last 40 yeats has served as a galvanizing force in support for TLMs, then perhaps in areas where the abuse was less rampant, the demand for the TLM was minimized.

I do not mean that anger over abuses is the only reason one could ever have for supporting or calling for a TLM, but only that it is A reason. I am certain that varying degrees of episcopal hostility, good old world obedience to Bishops on the part of the laity, and other factors play a role in the diminished presence of the TLM in countries such as Poland, Italy, Brazil, Portugal and Spain.

Anonymous said...

Benjoyce: I read it to mean that approved mass statistics included SSPX masses. Perhaps I'm wrong. Then it would be 750 masses plus just a few sedevacantist masses, not another 1,000 masses. Anybody care to comment?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think the statistics are incorrect. The reason is that the Ecclesia Dei Coalition in Chicago reports that approximately the same figure as cited here is for dioceses that have at least one Sunday obligation Mass, out of the total number of USA dioceses. However, some dioceses like Chicago, have ten such Masses of obligation. Obviously, if there were only 750 Masses worldwide, with an average of 200 in attendance at each, then only 150,000 people would be attending each week. What then of the 500K to 1,000K members of the SSPX alone, not counting all the other diocesan Masses? The statistics have been misreported.

Vincent (Ireland) said...

I wonder why Ireland has been left out. An Irish analysis of this question shows that another 'Catholic country' is even less generous per capita than some of the others:

http://catholicheritage.blogspot.com/2010/02/latin-mass-statistics.html

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to compare this data with the size of the Catholic population in each country. This would, perhaps, shed more light on the availability of the TLM to the average Catholic in that country (assuming even geographic dispersion within the country, which most often is not the case).

If the U.S. has 60 million catholics, then there would be one approved diocesan TLM for every 207,612 Catholics. Or, if we say that 30% of Catholic Americans are practicing, then there is 1 TLM for every 62,284 of those practicing.

John M.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about the accuracy of the statistics. It is often the case that local provisions are not co-ordinated with National agencies so the statistical information may not reach them. On the other hand, the link that Vincent (Ireland) posted does what the following comment suggests and compares episcopal provision with Catholic population for some of the Countries. It shows a wide variation that makes a certain sense.

Based on the Annuario Pontificio for 2005, it gives the USA 1 Sunday Mass to 223,000 Catholics, UK 1:129,000, Switzerland 1:152,000, Canada 1:568,000, Australia 1:308,000 and Ireland 1:694,000.

http://catholicheritage.blogspot.com/2010/02/latin-mass-statistics.html

That seems to bear out the interpretation that Catholic Countries are less generous. On the other hand, even leaving aside the question of the SSPX and other providers and the % practicing, it begs the question of why the congregations are not larger if there is (at best) only one Sunday EF Mass site for every 100,000 Catholics.

Anonymous said...

Neither the article or the previous comments mention the dire situation for tradition in either Mexico or the Philippines. Those countries along with Brazil account for a third of the world's Catholics but, outside of Campos, have only a tiny handful of traditional Masses. Yet Protestant evangelicals are making enormous strides in these countries. Indeed, it is a 'new springtime' if you are a Protestant.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"I read it to mean that approved mass statistics included SSPX masses. Perhaps I'm wrong. Then it would be 750 masses plus just a few sedevacantist masses, not another 1,000 masses. Anybody care to comment?"

The "approved" Masses don't include Masses under SSPX auspices. The Agoramag report that I linked to has the complete stats for dioceses + SSPX and affiliates

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"Personally, I think the statistics are incorrect."

Collecting statistics on the TLM is a daunting task, given the bewildering rapidity with which Mass locations under diocesan auspices, change or disappear.

Donald said...

benjoyce wrote:
This is a paultry sum. Personally I see the great value of the Latin Mass vs the NO (written by a Freemason-yet it is valid) But clearly the rest of the world does not. It's not just the bishops. The lay people don't like the Latin Mass either. THEY HAVE BEEN CORRUPTED.

I'm not so sure the majority of the laity don't like the Latin Mass. It's simply they have no choice. If an order were given that commencing Easter Sunday and forevermore, the TLM were to be offered everywhere, I think the majority would adapt & accept it. There certainly would be resistance by some, perhaps a lot; but as it is with most things, most people go along with whatever they're told to do...which is why the Novus Ordo was "widely accepted" in the first place.

R J Stove said...

My limited experience of NO Masses in Europe suggests that they might be, on the whole, less disgusting than are their counterparts in the Anglo-Saxon countries. They also seem more likely to have decent music (and less likely to have squealing guitars etc.). Moreover, adequate clerical attire appears considerably more common among priests in Europe than in the English-speaking world. In Europe, even a priest who subscribes to the trashiest left-wing dogma will still expect to be addressed as "Father Lebrun" or "Father" rather than by his Christian name.

In any event, we owe Carlos Antonio Palad a great debt for the statistics.

Anonymous said...

If there is one diocesan EF Sunday Mass site for every 100,000 Catholics and if the practice rate is say 30% it still means that if only 1% of practicing Catholics wanted to attend the EF each Mass site would have a pool of 300 souls. Am I the only one who wonders if there is really a valid momentum for the EF as a popular movement? Reading the attendance on the Catholic Heritage Association blog they have about 12 out of 35,000 in a single Parish. That's about 0.03% Do we really expect Priests to celebrate a Mass to suit every 0.03% of their Parish?

Tim said...

Anonymous 12:26:

You must be joking.

Several relevant surveys carried out so far have demonstrated that even a majority of practising Catholics would gladly regularly attend a TLM if it were offered in their parish.

See for yourself here:
http://www.paixliturgique.org.uk/aff_lettre.asp?LET_N_ID=485
http://www.paixliturgique.fr/securefilesystem/FICHIERLISTE/FICHIERLISTE_20100125150628_sondage_italien.ppt
http://www.paixliturgique.fr/securefilesystem/FICHIERLISTE/FICHIERLISTE_20100125150712_sondage_csa.pdf

berenike said...

It's a different world in Poland, believe me :) Even I've given up going to the EF or Byzantine rite on Sundays,and go to my parish, which is far from being the most reform-of-the-reform-minded in the city. It's just normal - nothing weird, nothing self-concious or poncy. The changes were introduced differently here, and were introduced more or less as written, not in some "Spirit of the Council" interpretation.

It's not all rosy (especially outwith the parishes: there are lunatics out there), but the vast majority of the time the horrors you find in some parishes aren't liturgical abuses in the way North Americans or Europeans further west think of them - they are "rtie-indifferent" :) (Sloppiness, haste, incredibly naff seasonal additions to the interior decor, that sort of thing).

Anonymous said...

Tim,

I speak as a supporter of the EF but if these surveys are correct, then why are not the Masses full to bursting? If a majority of the 100,000 or 600,000 Catholics per EF Sunday Mass or even a majority of the 30% who are practicing were to attend, the Bishops would be so overwhelmed with the force of popular opinion that they would have to provide more. The truth is that in some places the EF is very well attended but it is seldom so well attended that there are Churches filled to overflowing on a regular basis. In fact, many EF Masses are all but empty. Take a look at the EF Mass in Ireland on the blog referred to here in another context. The Church is huge. The time is less than ideal but not impossible. The attendance is miserable. Could you really expect more generous provision in those circumstances? I speak as a supporter of the EF but I do think that our expectations are somewhat unrealistic and potentially uncharitable to those who must feed the 99% as well as the less than 1%.

Anonymous said...

People going to Eastern Rites, Byzantine Rites, and other liturgies to avoid the NO abuses etc. have been high in number in the last decades. Does anyone really think after establishing links to a "sane" service and perhaps becoming part of the parish life they will leave to return to unstable, possibly belligerent atmospheres that are present in many Dioceases? People do not want to come back, or even embrace something new or different when it may disappear from one week to the next. Or when the other sacraments are not offered. It is like getting the Mass sometimes and 20 % of the rest of the Catholic "package". That is not enticing to people. What needs to happen is to see the Mass celebrated by Our Holy Father once in a while and more regular, permanent Masses in parish life for people to either embrace newly or jump ship back to. The Quasi- equation does not work for most people. ANd getting it back into regular parish life as at least an option on Sundays on equal footing with the NO Mass will substantially alter the numbers in attendance and bring back people who have drifted away. What these people want and deserve is stability. This needs to come directly from Rome via some legislative act. Like for example, by 2020 every parish will have established a traditional Mass to be offered to the people. ANd to know it is not going anywhere will push the numbers up, for those interested in numbers. Something in regards to stability must be done as the next step into permanence for the Church. It will only bring good.

Anonymous said...

When we look at the TLM movement on the macro-level, it is obviously very small. The movement is growing, there is no doubt, but it is tiny when compared to the overall practicing Catholic population.

In my opinion, it will remain like this, with small brick by brick progress, until there is a more widespread conversion of the episcopacy and clergy (or the current hierarchy dies off and is replaced by others more willing to implement SP). In the end, the episcopacy must be won over for there to be widespread success.

How many people were clamoring for what we got with the Novus Ordo? I'm guessing not very many. So, it doesn't matter what the average Catholic at the local parish wants; we have to convert the Bishops.

John M.

Tim said...

"The attendance is miserable. Could you really expect more generous provision in those circumstances? I speak as a supporter of the EF but I do think that our expectations are somewhat unrealistic and potentially uncharitable to those who must feed the 99% as well as the less than 1%."

We shouldn't generalise things.
From my experience (in numerous European countries), I would find it difficult to agree that the attendance at TLMs is miserable.

Of course, some churches offering the TLM are far from being full, but we should always look at every individual case: Is the church well accessible (public transport)? Is the TLM offered at a regular parish church? Is the TLM scheduled at a normal time or, as is often the case, at 1 pm or 6 pm, or even as an anticipated Saturday evening Mass? Is the TLM scheduled every Sunday or only every third Sunday in a month? Is the TLM advertised in parish bulletins? etc.

We should not bury our heads in the sand: the main obstacle to the restoration of Catholic tradition remains the extremely unfavourable and often hostile approach of the bishops and parish priests towards the TLM. If you are at least a little familiar with the traditional movement, you cannot deny that many bishops are doing everything they can to prevent people from knowing that they are not only free to attend a TLM, but that it is their given right as Catholics (especially after the MP Summorum Pontificum) to demand the celebration of TLMs in their parishes.

If the TLM was made more easily available to every Catholic, the ratio 1% : 99% would very quickly start reversing...

Anonymous said...

John M.

Trust me, I'm sympathetic to your view.

"until there is a more widespread conversion of the episcopacy and clergy (or the current hierarchy dies off and is replaced by others more willing to implement SP). In the end, the episcopacy must be won over for there to be widespread success... we have to convert the Bishops."

I will agree with this BUT it is a very in-house point-of-view that the episcopacy and clergy must be 'converted' or 'won over'. In reality, there is no question of them being 'converted' and "conversion" is not necessary. They are perfectly entitled to favour the OF and we can't declare ourselves missionaries to other Catholics without really skewing our mentality. If we are saying that the truth lies with us and not with the Bishops and the Clergy (and I really want to say it too) we end up being Roman Protestants, happy with most bits but exercising private judgement on everything. That way madness lies.

I agree that the EF is the best hope for the Church of the future BUT if the Hierarchy chooses the OF (and the Pope says that there is no question of choosing one or the other since both are the same rite - not a view that appeals to me) then are we to insist that we as a tiny fraction of the Ecclesia Discent are right but the vast majority of the Ecclesia Discens and the Ecclesia Docens needs to be converted? Where is the sense in that? Is that even a traditional viewpoint? Could you see any Pope from Pius V to Pius XII accepting that argument?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that NZ has one Sunday Latin Mass (episcopally approved) for every 79,000 Catholics? One for every 46,000, if you include the SSPX. That's what I call a fighting chance! Mauri ora!