Rorate Caeli

"There is in Germany a significant attachment to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite"

From Paix Liturgique:

Germany, Pope Benedict XVI's homeland, is a country where, as in France, there is a strong attraction among the faithful to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. The Fraternity of Saint Peter has a seminary there (and so has the Society of Saint Pius X); many lay associations (notably Pro Missa Tridentina and Una Voce) have long been active there; the Institute of Christ the King has an apostolate there; more and more articles on the liturgical question are appearing in the secular press; diocesan priests are learning to celebrate in that liturgical form; new parishes are, slowly but surely, more and more open to the application of the Motu Proprio; lastly certain religious communities, such as the Mariawald Trappists (see the French Letter of Paix Liturgique # 162), are reviving the Church's age-old liturgy. Yet, here again as in France, the German Church hierarchy is in large part reluctant to the Pope's action of liturgical reconciliation. In Germany too, therefore, everything seems to be set up to minimize the extent of the demand for the application of the Motu Proprio.

Encouraged by many German friends, Paix Liturgique commissioned a survey on the application of the Motu Proprio in the land of Saint Albert the Great and of Saint Hildegard. In order to do so, we entrusted Harris Interactive with putting together for us a survey along the lines of those already carried out in France and in Italy. This was done on line, February 18-25, 2010, with the participation of 2611 persons over the age of 18 residing in Germany.

Here are the poll's results. We are glad to offer them to the Holy Father to symbolically mark the fifth anniversary of his election to the Holy See.

Question # 1: Do you attend Mass?

Weekly: 5.9%
Monthly: 4.1%
On Holy Days: 18.9%
Occasionally (e.g. for weddings): 42.3%
Never: 28.8%

Question # 2: In July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI restated that the Mass could be celebrated both in its modern, "ordinary," or "Paul VI" form--i.e. in German, with the priest facing the faithful, communion received standing--and in its traditional, "extraordinary," or "John XXIII" form--i.e. in Latin and Gregorian chant, with the priest turned towards the altar, communion received kneeling. Were you aware of this?

Yes: 43.1%
No: 56.9%

Question # 3: Would you consider it normal or abnormal for both liturgical forms to be regularly celebrated in YOUR parish?

Normal: 50.6 %
Abnormal: 24.5 %
No opinion: 24.9 %

Question # 4: If Mass were celebrated with Latin and Gregorian chant in its extraordinary form in YOUR parish, without taking the place of the ordinary one in German, would you attend it?

Answers from those who practice regularly (weekly and monthy)
- 25% would attend weekly
- 19% once a month
- 9% for Holy Days
- 40% occasionally
- 7% never


1/ This survey only brings to light something that is obvious to everyone (including to the clergy): there is in Germany a significant attachment to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite and the demand is very much unsatisfied: 25% of practicing Catholics, i.e. one in four, would attend the traditional Mass EVERY SUNDAY if it were celebrated in their parish. 19% would do so once a month.

This amounts to 44%, which is more than in Paris where our survey of last month, also entrusted to Harris Interactive and resting on an identical questionnaire, yielded a result of . . . 33%!
This is a particularly weighty pastoral index, and overall it confirms that of the surveys mentioned here below.

2/ Let's talk numbers. Germany has a population of about 82,000,000, among whom 20,090,000 claim to be Catholic;1,185,310 go to Mass every Sunday and 823,690 once a month. Bottom line, this survey tells us that about 300,000 of the faithful would attend the traditional Mass every Sunday if it were celebrated it THEIR parish . . . .

3/ This of course is but a survey, which as all surveys only indicates broad trends without claiming to be precise down to the decimal point. Nevertheless, given the broad tendencies that it reveals, this survey seems to us to require at least some refection on the part of all Catholics of good will.
It is worth noting that this survey does no more than confirm all the polls that Paix Liturgique has commissioned since 2001 (Paris survey by Harris Interactive in January-February 2010, Versailles survey by the Institut JLM Etudes in December 2009, Italy survey by DOXA in September 2009, France survey by the Institut CSA in November 2006, France survey by IPSOS in April 2001), besides the Sofres survey that Le Pèlerin commissioned in December 2006.

4/ Only 24.5% of German Catholics do not find it normal for both forms of the Roman rite to cohabitate peacefully at the parish level (there were 34% in France according to the Le Pèlerin survey conducted before the Motu Proprio was published and 30% in the Paix Liturgique-CSA survey).
Opposition to the application of the Motu Proprio in Germany may be due to certain ecclesiastics, but there is no denying that it is very much in the minority among the faithful and that it might become totally marginal if all the faithful were aware of the Motu Proprio's existence and of the possibility for all pastors to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Roman rite freely.

5/ This survey cost €6,500, tax included. If you wish to participate in its cost and allow us to continue in our work of information, you can send your donation to Paix Liturgique, 1 allée du Bois Gougenot, 78290 CROISSY-SUR-SEINE, FRANCE, through bank transfer using the following codes:
> IBAN : FR76 3000 3021 9700 0500 0158 593 > BIC : SOGEFRPP


  1. Anonymous4:35 PM

    I wish someone conduct such a survey in Canada.


  2. Anonymous5:06 PM

    So 25% out of 10%( weekly and monthly attending) would attend a weekly extraordinay Mass. A BIG attachment, indeed.

  3. Anonymous5:35 PM

    This confirms that German bishops would rather have people not attend Mass at all, than attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

  4. Anonymous6:47 PM

    And perhaps this is why German media has exploited the scandals of late, prompting thousands of Germans to officially renounce Catholicism as their religion, and attempt to portray the SSPX as an anti-semitic organization. Desperate, irrational and unjust attacks against the Pope and traditional Catholics are all these desperados have left. For when the old mass with the associated spiritual disipline and humilty becomes more prevalent, more conversions will happen and the cedar of God will spread her branches more gloriously.

    May that day come soon.

  5. M. A.8:21 PM

    Excuse me for interrupting, but may I please put in a plug for our Tridentine Mass this coming Saturday, for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker?

    WHERE: St. Rose of Lima Church
    486 W. Merchant St.
    Kankakee, IL

    WHEN: Saturday, May 1

    TIME: Rosary at 6:35 P.M.
    MASS at 7 P.M.

    Celebrant: The Rev. Canon M. Talarico,ICKSP

    Special prayers for the unemployed and for those in financial hardship will be offered, and Father will lead the congregation in consecration to the Holy Family. Food and entertainment afterward.

    Please pray for us. We would like nothing better than to have a weekly Mass, but it will take a miracle, and right now we are grateful for what we get. This will be our 4th Mass since SP.

  6. Anonymous11:40 PM

    i am in a parish where both forms exist, but of course we traditional mass goers are pushed to the side- 8am daily mass so almost nobody can attend and then a 5pm sunday mass-that is not ideal.we also constantly fight to even have mass as (despite the bishops wishes) the priest in charge will often arrange funerals or concerts for the new mass choir either during our mass times or so close to that it may as well be during our mass. the choir will never sing at our mass, not even 1 or 2 members (who could lead the people)so we almost never have a sung mass and we have been told we cannot form a choir as the church aleready has one. co-existance does not work, unless the parish priest is the celebrant of both the liturgies-if not then the extraordinary form needs its own exclusive parish to run correctly and be of any value to souls. it would be ideal to have every priest celebrate both forms, thats really the only way the clergy will ever understand the Mass, most of them just dont know why they do what they do at Mass and thats how we get liturgical abuse.

  7. Anonymous3:12 AM

    Anon 23:40 well said, I feel your pain. It is sort of the same way in my old parish (I left it recently for the FSSPX). I agree the two forms do not mix.

    Although I truly want the NO priests to appreciate the TLM I wouldn't want TLM priests to say the NO mass. The NO is, to be charitable, less than ideal.

    The traditional orders are correct when they refuse to say the NO. This is a mountain to die on. Stand firm. I pray the tide has turned.

  8. Anonymous4:33 PM

    I am in a parish of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius and both forms of the Mass flourish side-by-side, even with some overlap of attendance. The key is to have clergy who cherish the EF, and who celebrate the OF with the solemnity and dignity befitting the sacred liturgy.

  9. Anonymous3:50 AM

    i do see how both can exist, but as i said in my post (on the 24th at 23:40)the only way the EF AND OF can work in one parish is if the clergy that do the OF also do the EF-if not then they do not understand and they are just plain scared of the EF-too many young men attend it and they get scared and start to try and undermine the EF because of pride. they wont allow the EF to be equal (in their minds) to the OF and so we suffer,despite the bishops wishes and his occasional attendance at the EF Mass. we will get a parish because the bishop sees what we need and how all our activities are squashed by certain clergy and lay people-we are blessed that he is not blind to the needs of his sheep.

  10. Anonymous3:52 AM

    please if you must attend the SSPX do not go to them for confession as they have no jurisdiction and cannot absolve you unless in danger of death

  11. Anonymous10:00 AM

    Anon 03:52 - You are misleading people:

  12. V. Walter11:31 AM

    If only there were anything like Germany's enthusiasm for the Traditional Mass within Australia, either in terms of the number of Traditional Masses available to Australian Catholics, or in terms of the number of Australian bishops prepared to allow the Old Rite.

    For instance: Melbourne, a city of four million people, has precisely two diocesan buildings where a TLM is offered each Sunday (there is also an SSPX chapel within Melbourne). There is also an occasional diocesan TLM in another Melbourne church which has started since 2007. Outside Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, the very concept of a non-SSPX TLM each week is largely unknown.

    The SSPX priests do what they can, in the face of Australia's vast internal distances and singularly poor transportation infrastructure, to bring the benefits of the Mass to less populated Australian areas now and then. Sometimes I think America's trad Catholics don't always realize how lucky they are that the trad movement in their country is so huge.

  13. I must confess mixed feelings about this poll (mostly in the negative). For one thing, the centrality of the Eucharistic sacrifice is lost on people who would attend "if only the Mass were done reverently", not to mention the grave matter of not attending church services on Sunday. Appreciation of sacred music is one thing, but if lack of [sacred music] is the straw that breaks the camel's back, then something is amiss in the hearts of the would-be faithful.

    I myself would have left my own (modernist) church long ago had it not been for close proximity to home, a solid faithful core group I've grown attached to, and a certain sense of loyalty (though my patience with irreverent musical liturgy will only last so long). No matter I receive the Eucharist and would attend the most torrid Mass available weekly were it not bad enough to become invalid.

    Good NOs are few & far between. I've managed to come by one at an abbey but not a local parish. Though Latin Mass Communities are available in the US, they are typically more anemic (fewer mainstream ministries, thrift stores, 40 hours, etc.) It is a balancing act, and I suppose everyone's individual situation is different.


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