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July 29, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The number of people attending the traditional liturgy (Latin Mass) has grown significantly in the last two years, as have the number of parishes offering the Mass, according to a new poll of parishes across the U.S.

The survey was conducted by Crisis Magazine, which contacted 416 parishes out of the 658 parishes identified as offering the Latin Mass, and asked the parishes to complete a short survey.

The emails were sent on July 12, with responses required by July 23, a few days after Pope Francis issued his new motu proprio Traditionis Custodes severely restricting the Latin Mass. Hence, Crisis Magazine writes that the results of the survey can be understood as the “State of the TLM [Traditional Latin Mass] before Traditionis Custodes.”

Out of the 416 emails sent, Crisis received a total of 82 responses from parishes across 33 states, of which 92% were received before the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes.

The questions posed to the parishes dealt with the regularity of the traditional liturgy, and the congregational size at four periods in time: January 2019, January 2020, January 2021, and June 2021.

Crisis noted that over half (52%) of those parishes that responded offered a Latin Mass every Sunday, while 33% offered more than one each Sunday. The final 15% stated that they offered the traditional liturgy less frequently than once every Sunday.

One of the parishes revealed that during the time period in question, January 2019 through June 2021, it stopped its celebration of the Latin Mass. At the same time, a total of 16 parishes said their provision of the Latin Mass had only begun after January 2019.

The results of the survey denote a marked increase not only in the numbers of people attending, but also in the number of churches offering the traditional liturgy.

  • In January 2019, the average attendance across 59 parishes with a Sunday TLM was 145.
  • In January 2020, the average attendance across 61 parishes with a Sunday TLM was 163.
  • In January 2021, the average attendance across 69 parishes with a Sunday TLM was 174.
  • In June 2021, the average attendance across 75 parishes with a Sunday TLM was 196.

In terms of percentages, the growth of average attendance at the Latin Mass was 34% over the 2 1/2-year time period. The growth in parishes offering the Mass was slightly less, 27%.

The results of Crisis Magazine’s survey are in contrast to a different poll conducted by Pew Research Center between March 1 through 7 of this year.

Pew Research found that only 36% of Catholics, instead of the average of 58%, planned to fulfil their Easter obligations and attend Church over Easter, out of fear or caution due to COVID-19. Catholics were shown to be the most cautious of all the religious bodies surveyed: “[S]even-in-10 Catholics say their parishes are requiring social distancing and/or mask wearing, and six-in-ten say there are limits on the number of people who can attend Mass at any one time.”

The restrictions on churches across the globe, from both secular and religious authorities, combined with the desire for continued restrictions at most Catholic churches, according to Pew’s poll, may well have played a part in the rise in attendance at the Latin Mass, although Pew’s poll did not differentiate between churches offering the Novus Ordo and the traditional liturgies. However, the rise in attendance at the traditional liturgy would appear to be a phenomenon aided, not hindered, by the recent COVID-19 restrictions.

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LifeSiteNews will hand-deliver this petition to the Holy See, recording the moment traditional Catholics from around the world stood up for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Pope Francis has issued a new decree, "Traditiones Custodes," severely restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition with other Catholics, and ask the Pope to reconsider this new and divisive Motu Proprio.

Pope Francis' decree clamps down hard on the TLM. In it, he effectively does away with Pope Benedict's protection of it, handing bishops in every diocese the right to suppress it, while demanding new priests get permission from their bishop and the Vatican to offer the Mass of the Ages. 

As Catholics who value Tradition and know the place of the Magisterium in safeguarding the Deposit of Faith, it is time to speak up and have our voices heard

Francis has decried rigidity and intolerance for years, but now is showing intolerance and rigidity himself by forcing his very narrow understanding of liturgy on one of the true sources of good fruit in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

Our Lord said that "a bad tree cannot bear good fruit", and yet we see more and more souls drawn to Christ through the TLM, with marriages dedicated to God and open to many children, and vocations also abounding in traditional seminaries, orders and priestly societies.

Indeed, the Traditional Latin Mass has been a source of unity for the Catholic Church for more than 1500 years, producing great saints, repentant sinners, and souls won for Christ across the world. *Read below how Benedict XVI decried attacks against the TLM and its adherents.

To attempt to restrict the Traditional Latin Mass, as a new generation are rediscovering the treasures of God's Church, will inevitably cause further division and hurt among the faithful, risking the loss of some souls who will regretfully turn away

Souls are now at stake with this Motu Proprio, as some will drift away from the Deposit of Faith in disillusionment, while others that are far from God will never be touched by the profound beauty and reverence found in the Traditional Latin Mass. 

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to Pope Francis, urging him to reconsider his decision, not least for the good of souls and the glory of God, and making sure as many cardinals support the TLM as possible. 

Click "Show Petition Text" on the right to read the letter to Pope Francis.

Finally, please pray, fast and do penance for the salvation of souls, including that of our shepherds, during this turbulent time in Church history.


'BREAKING: Pope Francis abrogates Pope Benedict’s universal permission for Old Mass' -

'ANALYSIS: Pope restricts ‘divisive’ Traditional Latin Mass, says 52-yr-old Novus Ordo is ‘unique expression’ of Church’s liturgy' -

* Pope Benedict XVI (Spirit of the Liturgy, 2000):

"For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 [the older Latin Mass] should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her at present if things are that way?"

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LifeSiteNews has heard from priests in the traditional priestly groups of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) that the sizes of their congregations grew over the last 18 months, despite the restrictions under which they had to operate at certain times.

Many parishioners at such parishes have attested to the fact they began attending the Latin Mass in that time period due to stringent restrictions placed upon being able to receive Holy Communion in the hand only, instead of on the tongue — as is the right of every Catholic, and the norm, without exception, in the Latin Mass.

Liturgy expert and Thomistic theologian Dr. Peter Kwasniewski described the Latin Mass as “an indispensable condition for restoring the Faith in our times. Without it, we will not have a firm and deep enough spiritual foundation on which to build Catholic lives, families, and societies.”

Indeed, in an op-ed published by LifeSite last spring, before the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, Christopher Manza attested to Kwasnieswki’s words. Writing how he “hated going to Mass and thought it was boring,” Manza revealed how upon attending the traditional liturgy, he “became more in tune with the celebration of Heaven on Earth.”

“From there, I caught the bug and gradually began preferring the Latin Mass to the Novus Ordo,” stated Manza. “It was an experience unlike any I’d ever experienced up to that point.”

While Crisis discovered a growth in the attendance at the Latin Mass, provision for the traditional liturgy still remains comparatively very low. A total of 16,703 parishes were listed across the U.S. in 2020, meaning that the 660 parishes offering the Latin Mass amount to less that 4% of all parishes.

It remains to be seen what the long-term effects will be following the Pope’s latest restrictions. Some bishops have already moved to curtail the celebration of the traditional liturgy in their dioceses, while others have granted a temporary continuation of the status quo.


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