Rorate Caeli

How to get Italians back to Church

On September 24 through the 27 a survey was taken among 1001 Italians over the age of 15 by the Doxa Institute, a founding member of Gallup which the leads the field in surveys in Italy and is noted for its scientific rigor. The following results were published Saturday in the French Paix Liturgique:

Question 1: Are Italian Catholics aware of the existence of the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" by which Benedict XVI approved the celebration of the two forms of the Roman rite?

Yes, say 64% of practicing Catholics (attending Mass at least once a month) as opposed to 36% who know nothing about it. Considering all Catholics, practicing or not, 58% are aware and 42% unaware of its existence.

Question 2: Would you find it normal to have both forms of the rite celebrated in your parish?

Tied: 71% of practicing Catholics as well as 71% of all Catholics are in favor of the coexistence of both forms in their churches.

Question 3: If a Mass in the extraordinary form were celebrated in your parish would you attend?

63% of Italians who practice their faith say they would attend at least once a month (33% for all Catholics). The figure breaks down as follows: 40% would attend weekly and 23% at least once a month.


  1. 71% of practicing Catholics as well as 71% of all Catholics are in favor of the coexistence of both forms in their churches... 40% [of practicing Catholics] would attend weekly..."


    (that was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor)

    I would be especially interested in learning how many non-practicing would attend more frequently if the Old Mass were available in their parish.

  2. The Mass alone won't solve anything, unless it's just the beginning. We had Mass before the council, during the council, and for a few years after the council, and it hadn't prevented the consequences.

  3. Anonymous10:44 AM

    Doesn't take a genius to figure out what would bring Roman Catholics back to Holy Mass, and thus probably also increase vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

    Let's face it, world wide, the Novus Ordo (especially in Western Europe, the USA, Canada and well as Latin America, Asia and Africa), had triggered a massive turn away from the Catholic Faith (the Protestant Reformation could not have done better!!!), and has also given birth to the most scandelous, sacriledgeous and outrageous liturgical abuses. Not to mention a breakdown of all Catholic traditions, morals, "mind-set", etc. Our Holy Mass, and all the beautiful disiplines and traditions, beliefs and practices that told us apart from other Christian groups (Protestants), has been swept away. Now the tragedy is we are just like them!

    Can you imagine the Muslims, who have a very impressive religious history and tradition of liturgy and services (believe it or not), and various practices that govern their lives would one day decide en masse to just discard all of their ancient traditions just to be like everyone else? Not in a million years!! Or the Greek and Russian Orthodox? No way would they discard their traditions. (I can't say that about the Jews, because the Jews have discarded their religious observances in 1out of 3 "branches" of Judaism (Reformed has watered down many traditions and liturgical practices of Judaism to fit modern mind-set).

    The only way to stop the collective (and it seems voluntary) destruction of the Catholic Church is to re-introduce into the life of every parish-by mandate and not just by suggestion or example-the Tridentine Latin Mass.
    Let the Novus Ordo and the Tridentine Latin Mass be celebrated side by side in every parish.
    I'll give you a hint which Mass wouldn't survive for long before it's disappears....and it wouldn't be the Tridentine Latin Mass to go!!

  4. Anonymous11:19 AM

    I have just returned from the Pontifical mass with Archbishop Burke moments ago (and an Angelus with our Holy Father outside in the square); it was absolutely packed to the gills with the faithful. Priests and young seminarians were giving up their seats to the elderly, and the isles were so congested with those standing that finding space to kneel on the floor was difficult. And this was 45 minutes before Mass even started!
    May pious curiosity and a sincere interest in a Catholic tradition over the course of 2000 years turn into a complete rejuvenation of the Italian Church and the riches contained therein! Deo Gracias!

  5. Anonymous3:22 PM

    "Il sottoscritto, arrivato esattamente alle 9,28, si è trovato uno sbarramento a venti metri dalla cappella, con non meno di dodici tra sampietrini e gendarmi, che a tutti ripetevano trattarsi di "cerimonia privata per un gruppo" e come tale inaccessibile. Solo con un alterco, accompagnato dalla minaccia di essere espulso dal tempio, è stato possibile avvicinarsi. A due signore con tanto di veletta in testa è stato detto che la messa che cercavano era alle 10 all'altare della Cattedra (ove si è svolto il rito ordinario), e si sono arrese.

    Chi vi scrive non è comunque riuscito a entrare nella cappella perché straripante: si era formato un gruppo al di fuori, nella terra di nessuno tra il cordone di sicurezza e l'accesso in cappella, presidiato da (non scherziamo): 2 gendarmi, 3 sampietrini e 1 poliziotto in borghese. Non poco per un accesso largo 4 metri circa. Non contenti, hanno anche tirato per buona parte le tende, per evitare che la sublime bellezza del rito attirasse la gente. Per tutta la Messa le persone che si avvicinavano sono state mandate inesorabilmente via, ma qualcuno è rimasto vedendo la Messa come un miraggio lontano
    I roughly translated this so we could all see the underhanded tricks the Vatican staff (and perhaps Bishops and Cardinals in the Vatican) tried to pull today in order to make the Tridentine Latin Mass celebrated in St. Peter's today inaccesible to the ordinary Catholic who was not part of the group for whom the Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Burke, but nevertheless wanted to attend. They apparently were practically manhandled and shoved away.
    The thugs and Vatican II lunatics are desperate, and are on the losing side....but this proves they are still willing to pull any trick to make attendance at the Tridentine Latin Mass as difficult as possible.
    Let's hope the Pope has a surprise up his sleeve that will put an end to the persecution and harassment of the Tridentine Latin Mass forever...and these people and their agenda are soon just bad memories.


    "As it was posted, we arrived exactly/precicely at 9:28, but we found a barrier 20 meters from the chapel guarded by no less than 12 "Sanpietrini" and gendarmes(security men) and they all repeated that the ceremony was for a private group and inaccessible (to anyone else). Only after an altercation(argument) with them, accompanied by the threat of being expelled from the temple, was it finally permitted to apporach. Two ladies with veils on their heads attempted to approach, but were told that the "Ordinary form" was going to be celebrated at the Altar of the Chair.
    The chapel was overflowing, and we formed a group outside the chapel in "no man's land" between the cordon of security which was blocking us, and the chapel.
    It was guarded by 2 policemen, 3 "Sanpietrini" and 1 policeman in street clothes. Little or no access for the ordinary faithful walking in St. Peter's Basilica. They also put up curtains, so that anyone else in Saint Peter's could not see the ritual and be drawn to the sublime beauty of the liturgy.
    Throughout the Mass, those outside the group who approached to attend were turned away. Music from the Ordinary form tried to drown out the Mass, and those from far away tired to watch the Mass, as if it were a distant mirage."



  6. Alessandra3:34 PM

    Most young Italians don't like the Church or want to attend any Mass. Sorry to burst the bubble.

  7. Anonymous4:10 PM

    How could this obstruction be tolerated inside St. Peter's? Perhaps the drift of those interested would make the entire Basilica heavy to one side and begin to sink into the earth on the very spot where so many faithful would gather wishing to attend Mass or catch a glimpse. An indication that perhaps that not only should the Tridentine Mass be shifted to the center of Church life but the center of the Basilica itself...Messages, Messages..

  8. Anonymous4:11 PM

    An FSSP priest told me that for all practical purposes, the massive amount of Catholics who have joined non-Catholic religious communities or have simply ceased to attend Mass (Novus Ordo) are gone forever.

    Each Latin parish throught the world could go TLM-only this second, but Catholics who are gone would not return to Mass (TLM).

    Catholics who have departed Holy Mother Church have lost the Faith and have set themselves against the Church.

    The tens of millions of Catholics who have remained "Catholic" but have ceased to assist at Mass are not interested in Latin, Gregorian Chant...the TLM.

    Said "Catholics" have simply lost interest in religion.

    That said, the restoration of the TLM would accomplish the following:

    The TLM, which imparts a tremendous sense of Catholic indentity and loyalty in people, would, in particular, "go to work" on the hearts and minds of millions of young Latin Catholics who assist at Mass.

    A new generation of Catholics would emerge with their hearts and minds formed by the TLM.

    In turn, their children would encounter the TLM, etc.

    The 85 (or so) percent of Catholics who have left the Church or have ceased to assist at Mass are gone forever.

    The Church will be renewed and restored only when we "go to work" on a new generation of Catholics.

    Unfortunately, Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops have made it clear that the Novus Ordo is here to stay.

    Therefore, the crisis of Faith is here to stay.

    Someday, a Pope will arise to return the Latin Church to TLM-only status.

    Until then, I wouldn't be surprised if 150 (or more) years are required to restore liturgical sanity to the Latin Church.

    Post-Vatican II Rome is simply not ready to return to the TLM exclusively.


  9. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Alessandra said...

    "Most young Italians don't like the Church or want to attend any Mass. Sorry to burst the bubble."

    You are correct. In fact, your statement extends to Catholics throughout the Latin Church.

    TLMs exist...they can be found...but the fact remains that the majority of young Catholics are not interested in the Church.

    The Church will recover from Her post-Vatican II collapse only when a new generation of Catholics has been from childhood by the TLM exclusively.

    The Catholics who are gone are gone...they simply have lost the Faith.


  10. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Anonymous said...

    "Doesn't take a genius to figure out what would bring Roman Catholics back to Holy Mass, and thus probably also increase vocations to the priesthood and religious life."

    Sorry, but the TLM will not return to the Church the hundreds of millions of Catholics who have lost interest in Catholicism.

    Novus Ordoism has destroyed said folks.

    The (Latin) Church will recover from Her current state of collapse only when the TLM has been restored exclusively...and is able to form the hearts and minds of millions of Catholic from childhood onward.


  11. Anonymous4:52 PM


    it is clearly evident that the timeserving Archpriest(Comastri) and his watchmen had in view to ratten this historical moment. Maybe a great pious crowd outside this tiny Sacrament Chapel would have aroused anxiety, while concurrently the 10:00 am NOM-mass of the chapter is held at the altar of the chair.

  12. True, the 85 (or so) percent of Catholics who have left the Church or have ceased to assist at Mass are gone forever and it's also true that those who still go to Mass and help parishes with normal church activities are all puppets of Neocatecumenal, or happy clappers, or other groups who totally oppose the TLM as they certainly don't want to lose the power they have gained.

    I agree, a new generation of Catholics will eventually emerge with their hearts and minds formed by the TLM.

  13. Anonymous8:21 PM

    Hey Tim,
    We can have some hope that the TLM will draw back a portion of the fallen Catholics and unbelievers alike.

    The TLM is such a stark contrast to anything in the world that even this current generation of secular hedonistic youth would have to a least think....

    You are right, it will take time, a changing of the guard and frankly a miracle....FATIMA.


  14. Anonymous8:30 PM,3425028.0.html

    video of the event

  15. Video of the Pontifical Mass here:

  16. Joe B8:54 PM

    The elimination of the TLM would, indeed, begin the restoration of the faith. First of all, the TLM is being attended by large families, and they are well catechized. Priests will flow from them. These are the critical elements of the beginning of a reformation.

    Second, Novus Ordo parents (most of whom are non-Catholic in that they vote for abortion candidates, practice artificial contraception, and don't go to confession) would be exposed to a beautiful and reverent mass, the leadership of traditionalist priests and laymen, and the influence of a truly Catholic catechism on their children, and many would be converted.

    Lastly, the Old Mass and the Holy Spirit converted the world once, and they would do it again if the church would produce the saint candidates she used to. And guess where those candidates nurture from - the solid food of tradition.

    Overnight? No. But irresistible. Don't bet against it.

  17. Peter9:38 PM

    The Church was never in an ideal condition.

    It's the spirit that has ruined the liturgy, not the opposite.

    Restoring the spirit, the faith, will put both the liturgy and the Church back on track.

    150 years are not needed in my opinion. One or two strong, traditional Popes reigning for a long time would be enough, I think.

  18. Anonymous9:47 PM

    The truth is that only the Evangelicals are good at introducing alienated souls to the Lord. We need to learn their lessons!

  19. Anonymous2:55 AM

    "Hey Tim, We can have some hope that the TLM will draw back a portion of the fallen Catholics and unbelievers alike."

    A small percentage of non-practicing Catholics would return via the TLM.

    But for all practical purposes, the hundreds of millions Catholics who have left the Church or who assist at Mass a few times each year are not interested in the TLM.

    Having grown up in the Novus Ordo system, they've been robbed of their religious heritage...even to the point of having been taught to despise the Latin Church's liturgical traditional.

    Two years ago I pleaded with a conservative priest to offer the TLM.

    He declared that he would never offer any form of Mass in Latin as the Church's liturgical tradition was foreign to his religious sensibilities.

    That is a conservative priest.

    One priest after another has informed me that they are not interested in Latin Masses.

    Post-Vatican II Catholics cannot be expected to desire the TLM when they have been formed by priests who despise Holy Tradition.

    That is why with few exceptions, I do not believe that a substantial amount of "Novus Ordo" Catholics would embrace the TLM.

    1. We must focus intently upon the formation of TLM-only parishes.

    2. Said parishes would impart the powerful Catholic identity and loyalty, particularly among children, that flow from regular exposure to the TLM.

    3. Said parishes would generate vocations.

    4. TLM-only priests and religious would spread throughout the Church to help restore the TLM to Latin parishes.

    Unfortunately, Rome and our bishops have made it clear that they are committed umwaveringly to the preservation of the TLM.

    We are, at best, decades away from Rome being populated with Popes and Cardinals who are willing to embrace the reality that only the TLM can restore greatness to the Latin Church.

    That is why I believe that we are at least 100 years...probably 150 years...away from the widespread restoration of the Latin liturgical tradition.


  20. Anonymous3:21 AM

    Perhaps my "pessimism" regarding the Latin Church's liturgical situation is influenced by my surroundings.

    Exceptions aside, the parishes within my diocese are conservative to moderate.

    The parishes at which I assist (I move about to "trick" myself into dealing with Novus Ordo banality) are run by conservative to moderate priests.

    The liturgical experience at each parish is as follows:

    1. One parish sings the Agnus Dei...that constitutes the only encounter with "tradition" that I have found at said parishes.

    2. The Masses are never sung.

    3. The vestments are ugly.

    4. The parishes are basically antiseptic Protestant meeting halls.

    5. The confessionals are hidden in out-of-the-way chapels.

    6. With one exception, tabernacles are located at least 40 feet from altars.

    7. A large percentage of combined parishoners have ceased to genuflect...and are not even inclined to bow their heads during the Creed.

    8. Communion standing is, of course, the norm.

    9. Perhaps five people receive Communion in the hand.

    10. Drums, bongo drums, pianos and guitars sound as pipe organs gather dust.

    11. T-shirts, flip-flops, shorts (very tight and revealing clothing on women) are worn to Mass.

    12. Immediately upon having received Holy Communion, 30 to 40 percent of people race to the parking lots.

    13. Talking prior to, immediately following...even during...Mass is typical among the people.

    14. Applause, particularly for choirs, erupts during Mass...particularly when "special" blessings are delivered during Mass.

    I have not embellished the above descriptions.

    Incredibly, the priests at said parishes are conservatives and moderates.

    I have found them to be holy men.

    Regardless, I do not have hope that the Novus Ordo can possibly instill a great degree of Catholic indentity into the majority of the Faithful.


  21. Anonymous4:23 AM

    Hi Tim,

    I posted the 'hopeful' comment.

    I agree, the NO is a wasteland and a generation is lost. Your experience is similar to mine.

    Let us sincerely fast, do penance and almsgiving so that God can intervene.
    Faith can move mountains.

    Please guard your soul - I sense you haven't found an alternative to the NO. I am fortunate to have the FSSP near by. If they were not I would go to the FSSPX or Eastern Rite.

    I agree with you that TLM only churches are needed. I am thankful that we have a regular TLM but sharing with the NO is not too good.


  22. Alfonsus9:54 AM

    Sorry to burst your buble again.
    Here in Indonesia church are full for Mass. Sunday Sung Mass is ordinary (actually I was a bit of surprised that it was not the case outside of Indonesia).
    Conversion rate is good (each several year we need to accomodate new parish or station at achdiocese of Jakarta).
    It is all Novus Ordo.

    So what wrong in your place that it is not the case?

  23. It is good to know that in Italy (just like in France, germany, the USA, etc.) significant numbers of practicing Catholics are open to the TLM.

    Now, if only they would actually do something for the TLM, and lift their collective finger to help bring back the Classical Roman Rite to altars all over the world.

    Alas, many would like to see the Classical Rite, but few are willing to do anything about the current situation.

    How to rouse the faithful from their apathy -- this is the question that needs to be asked everyday.

  24. Gideon Ertner12:09 PM

    "...the underhanded tricks the Vatican staff (and perhaps Bishops and Cardinals in the Vatican) tried to pull today in order to make the Tridentine Latin Mass celebrated in St. Peter's today inaccesible to the ordinary Catholic..."

    Puhleeze. Have you ever been to Rome? I'll bet you it had nothing whatsoever to do with negative attitudes towards the TLM, but rather with typical Italian petty bureaucratism.

    Someone 'in charge' simply saw that the chapel was filled to capacity with worshippers, looked in his program and saw that the Mass was celebrated as part of a specific conference, and decided that things were not going by the book and had to be stopped.

  25. Anonymous3:22 PM

    I have discovered the Byzantine rite, through both the Byzantine Catholic/Orthodox Churches several years ago. And to me it is like a renewal and a re-discovery of my faith. After years of never attending the NO Mass, for the same reasons discussed here. I have no regular daily Extra-Ordinary Form Masses in my area. Priests don't seem interested. But whenever I attend an Eastern Liturgy, I have a feeling of Joy in my life. Like learning something new and being part of a community again. This was never the case with the NO Mass. Just me though.

  26. It's not the fault of the Faithful; it's the fault of the hierarchy which imposed the NO on the Faithful. How does one counteract years of being told the Traditional Latin Mass was not approved and the New Mass was the approved liturgy of the Church? How does one counteract years of being told from the pulpit that we must be "obedient" and conform to the wishes and exhortations of the Pope? How does one counteract the practice of being told that communion in the hand, administered by non-ordained ministers, was now the norm to be followed? How does one counteract the practice of being told that kneeling was out of style and that the meal aspect was now to be given precedence over the sacrificial aspect of the Mass?

    I'll tell you how. The Pope himself must make it absolutely clear that mistakes have been made in implementing the "new mass" and that the Traditional Latin Mass is now to be the preferred Mass in all churches of the Roman Rite. He must say unequivocally that liturgical abuses in any shape or form whatsoever will render that cleric involved, regardless of rank or standing, to be suspended a divinis pending a full investigation by the Congregations involved. It is my firm belief that the Holy Father has within himself the power and the authority to begin the restoration if he so wishes. But, as one poster has already asked: "does he want to"? It's an open question.

  27. Anonymous10:15 PM

    I think I quoted a story about the late, great Cardinal Giuseppe Siri (1906-1989) here before. He was Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa, Italy from 1946-1988. Like Cardinal Spellman, he did not think much of Pope John XXIII (certainly not as a Pope, but it goes deeper than that). That John XXIII is "Blessed" at all is probably due to politics and pressure rather than holiness.
    Anyway, Cardinal Siri reportedly said that it would take 200 years for the Catholic Church to have a restoration/recovery from the disaster of Vatican II and its "reforms".

    Well, we have nearly 50 years down....another 150 to go!

  28. Anonymous4:15 AM

    Poor Piero Marini! He is still being lynched for current policies. Had His Holiness merely attended this Mass there would have been no problems. Until His Holiness decides to at least attend if not actually celebrate a public TLM the buck must stop with him. If he can not rule in the city of Rome I don't see a rosy scenario for the rest of the Church.


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