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Huge majority of traditional Mass attendees reject contraception, abortion, gay ‘marriage’: survey

February 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A new survey of Catholics who attend the Traditional Latin Mass / Extraordinary Form found that a staggering majority reject contraception, abortion, and gay “marriage,” while having large families, attending Mass weekly, and giving money generously to the Church. The survey (read full survey below) highlighted data that showed that the opposite is largely true of Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo Mass.

The “Traditional Latin Mass National Survey” by Fr. Donald Kloster sheds light on the phenomenon of ‘Traditional Catholics’ and essentially confirms the stereotype that they believe the teachings of the Church, regularly receive the Sacraments, and give generously to their parishes. 

Although a self-confessed pilot study, the survey includes enough responses, about 1800, over a wide enough geographical area (within the USA), to merit taking it seriously. 

“The survey consisted of seven questions on the beliefs and attitudes of the respondents. Data was collected between March 2018 and November 2018. The surveys were anonymous and unique responses only were tallied. In pew surveys were administered to 1322 respondents. The number of responses varied (between 1,251 and 1,322) according to the given question. The same survey, administered online, received 451 responses,” states Kloster in the survey. 

The topics covered in the survey of traditional Catholics included the following: 

  1. Approval of contraception
  2. Approval of abortion
  3. Weekly Mass attendance
  4. Approval of same sex marriage
  5. Percentage of income donated
  6. Annual Confession among weekly Mass attendees
  7. Fertility Rate

The survey found that 2% of participants approve of contraception, compared to 89% of Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo Mass (NOM) who approve. Even less (1%) approved of abortion, compared to 51% of NOM Catholics. The survey found that 99% attended weekly mass compared to 22% of NOM Catholics. Only 2% approved of homosexual “marriage” compared to 67% of NOM Catholics. The average traditional Catholic family had more children when compared to NOM families.

What this survey of church-going Catholics attached to the ancient Latin liturgy shows is that, within the undifferentiated mass of ‘Catholics’ who have a confusingly wide range of views and religious practices, there is at least one sub-group which is genuinely faithful to the Church, her teachings and requirements, and who average a reasonable number of children to whom this Faith can be passed on. 

To summarize, almost none of the Traditional Catholics surveyed approve of abortion, contraception, or same-sex “marriage.” They donate five times as much money as Catholics in general and have much larger families. 

For this group, a little more gratitude and nurturing from senior clergy and bishops would perhaps seem called for than what is currently on display in some dioceses. 

With honorable exceptions, one can get the impression that Catholics who are actually docile to the constant teaching of the Church are, if anything, an embarrassment to those theoretically charged with promulgating that teaching. The attitude of some liberal Catholics, clerical and lay, seems to be that such zeal might put off non-Catholics, or lapsed Catholics, who might otherwise be attracted by the latest liberal effort to show the secular world that Catholics care as much about “Climate Change,” or whatever their pet might be, as anyone else. Faithful Catholics are often treated like a crazy uncle who needs to be kept locked away when the future in-laws come to visit. 

However, Traditional Catholics are now too numerous, and too successful in rebuilding parishes and Catholic life in general, for this attitude to make any kind of sense. The survey estimates that there are now 100,000 of them in the USA, in 489 parishes. 

It is time they were appreciated as the shock troops of a genuine New Evangelization: men and women who can show that an authentic Catholic life is possible and attractive even in the second decade of the 21st century, for people living and raising families in the world.

Feb. 27, 2019 correction: A previous version of this report was based on an incorrect version of the "Traditional Latin Mass National Survey" which stated that the total fertility rate of TML couples is 6, whereas it is 3.6. The correct version of the survey is now linked to and embedded in this report. 

 

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Joseph Shaw

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Dr Joseph Shaw has a Doctorate in Philosophy from Oxford University, where he also gained a first degree in Politics and Philosophy and a graduate Diploma in Theology. He has published on Ethics and Philosophy of Religion and has edited a forthcoming book on the liturgy: The Case for Liturgical Restoration: Una Voce Position Papers on the Extraordinary Form (Angelico Press). He is the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales and Secretary of Una Voce International. He teaches Philosophy in Oxford University and lives nearby with his wife and eight children.