Rorate Caeli

The current situation for the TLM in Italy

(This set of statistics – taken from Unavox via Messa in Latino – counts 64 places throughout Italy where the Traditional Latin Mass is said on Sundays under diocesan auspices, in contrast to the 73 counted by Agoramag. This report also counts a total of 116 Mass sites in Italy [of which 99 are currently active] compared to 119 in the Agoramag report. CAP.)

The Current Situation:

Since Summorum Pontificum went into effect, at least one location with a regular TLM has been established in 42 out of the 225 dioceses in Italy (19% of all dioceses). A total of 116 Mass locations (of which 99 are active as of February 10, 2010) have been established since Summorum Pontificum went into effect, or in 0.4% of all the parishes (which total around 26,000). Worldwide, the Traditional Latin Mass is currently offered regularly (but not necessarily weekly) in a total of 1,425 Traditional Latin Mass locations all over the world (under diocesan auspices), compared to the 222,530 parishes of the Catholic Church.

The 116 Mass sites in Italy are distributed as follows:

In cities with a population greater than 300,000: 27 Mass centers (23%)

In medium-sized or small cities: 19 (16%)

In medium-sized villages /towns : 13 (11%)

In small villages /towns : 40 (34%)

Locations where the Mass has been suppressed: 15 (13%)

Locations where the Mass has been suspended: 2 (2%)

The frequency of Mass in these sites is as follows (note that the categories overlap):

Daily: 19 locations (16%)

Locations with Sunday and Feast Day Masses: 64 (55%)

Weekday Masses (but not apparently on feast days): 23 (20%)

Monthly Masses (not on feast days): 26 (22%)

Sites with occasional Masses: 3 (3%)

A comparison of the situation pre- and post- Summorum Pontificum

The total number of Mass centers has increased from 27 to 116, for a total increase of more than 330%.

Locations where the TLM is said daily have increased from 7 to 19, for a total increase of 170%

Locations where the TLM is said on Sundays and feast days have increased from 11 to 64 (for a growth of 480%)
Locations with weekday Masses from 5 to 23 (an increase of 360%)

Locations for monthly Masses from 4 to 26 (an increase of 550%)

Last but not the least, the number of dioceses where a regular Mass location for the TLM has been established has increased from 24 to 42 (an increase of 75%).


  1. Anonymous2:37 PM

    What this does not count is where local pastors would like or permit the Traditional Mass but lack the training or assistance.

    For example, here at Florsta, in the Province of Messina, Diocese of Patti, the pastor is open to having the TLM daily, but there is no priest in the whole diocese who knows how.

    Br. Alexis Bugnolo

  2. Anonymous4:15 PM

    Yes, its footprint is still small... but this little mustard seed will continue to grow and put forth quality vocations. It will also continue to foster acceptance in more and more diocese. Probably the most overlooked aspect of the EF is that it is a transformational encounter for many Catholics who attend. It has forever changed my life, and I am sure the same is true for a great many others. It is springtime again, and the EF is the good yeast.

  3. Anonymous4:41 PM

    But don't forget that, as we can see in the FSSP case at Toronto, the SSPX is the only group that can guarantee the TLM (as always). Everyone else depends on the mood of the local bishop, and can see their mass cancelled at any moment.

  4. "The SSPX is the only group that can guarantee the TLM (as always). Everyone else depends on the mood of the local bishop, and can see their mass cancelled at any moment."

    Though that is to a much lesser extent because of Summorum Pontificum. The bishop can still pull tricks to discourage it, but he can now only resist so much.

  5. Anonymous6:58 PM

    This is encouraging, indeed. Although it is clear that the TLM movement is minuscule in Italy and the rest of the world, the growth over the past 2.5 years is the most important statistic in my view.

    I wonder...will we continue to see this kind of enormous (percentage) growth in the next 5-10 years? Or have the easy locations already been gained, with mainly difficult territory remaining?

    John M.

  6. Anonymous10:58 PM

    John M.,

    The answer to your question will be determined by the bishops and cardinals that the Holy Father appoints. Nothing, not even the negotiations with the SSPX, is as important as the naming of key archbishops friendly to tradition. We need tradition friendly archbishops in places like Mexico City, Los Angeles, Manila, Rio, etc. or this whole endeavor will stagnate.

  7. "What this does not count is where local pastors would like or permit the Traditional Mass but lack the training or assistance."

    That would be nearly impossible to quantify.

    By the way, Bro. Alexis, we'd like to hear more about your group of tradition-minded Franciscans in southern Italy.

  8. Anonymous2:48 AM

    Last month the Pontifical Comission Ecclesia Dei, came out with a new clarification,Which is: 'the priest may decide when and whether to celebrate the traditional form of the Mass without permission from his bishop. Even the scheduling of the Extraordinary Form is left to the discretion of the parish priest.' I think this will increase the number of traditional Masses. It's catchihng on. A lot of Diocese in the United States have EF Masses everyday. Also, I think it's a good sign that so many bishops and some Cardinals are celebrating in the EF, most notably Archbishop Burke celebrating EF Pontifical High Mass in the Vatican Basilica and Cardinal Canizares celebrating Pontifical High Mass at the Lateran Archbasilica twice. Also the EF Mass is now being celebrated daily at the side altars in the Vatican Basilica.

  9. Anonymous3:33 AM


    The Bishop here has been very generous, in allowing the possibility of a new community, which would be dedicated to observing the Rule of St. Francis, according to the Pontifical Decrees of Nicholas III, Clement V, and Bl. Innocent XI, using the pre Bugninian liturgial books. H.E. Igazio Zambito is not a traditionalist, but he is open to whatever the Holy Father permits. This included everything a community has the right to do by itself in its own houses, from wearing the habit, even in public, to begging, formation, and pre-theology studies.

    Being half Sicilian myself, I find living in Sicily to be very familiar; having Italian citizenship also opens a lot of doors.

    I would ask the prayers of one and all, for holy vocations, and to arrange the donation of an ancient monastery, which is currently owned by a family of local nobility.

    I ask vocations to write me by surface mail, in English, Italian, or Latin:

    Br. Alexis Bugnolo
    Via Umberto I, 261
    98030 Floresta (ME)
    Sicilia, Italia

  10. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Br. Alexis,

    Is there anywhere online we can go to find out more about your community in case we want to recommend it to others?

    John M.

  11. Anonymous2:38 AM

    John M.,

    There is a lot of reading material through those links.

    And vocations should read! A Vocation decision is not an emotional one; it must be a rational moved by the theological virtues.

    Br. Alexis Bugnolo


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