National Survey Results: What We Learned About Latin Mass Attendees
Traditional Latin Mass National Survey
by Fr. Donald Kloster
St. Mary’s Catholic Church,
Norwalk, Connecticut USA
Contributors: Sha Balizet Fisher, Ph.D. (Statistics), Brian Williams-Liturgyguy.com (Consultant), Christine Boyle (Webmaster).
Through more than twenty years of offering both the Novus Ordo Mass (NOM) and the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), this writer has observed variations between the people attending the two different Masses within the Roman Rite. American Catholics attending the NOM have been surveyed repeatedly in terms of their beliefs and practices (Pew Research and Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University [CARA]).
Yet, the body of research does not appear to include a description of Catholics who attend the TLM. These Catholics attend at least 489 Sunday Masses nationwide (latinmassdir.org, 2019). On any given Sunday, an estimated 100,000 Catholics (slightly over 200 faithful per Mass and/or parish) in the United States of America worship according to the ancient Mass that, prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), was offered in Latin for over 1,500 years.
The quickly growing number of TLM-only parishes permits survey research going beyond one individual’s observations. The objective of this pilot study was to measure the fruit of the two Masses, by directly comparing the TLM and NOM attendees’ responses to the same questions.
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.
In Pew Survey Respondents
Arizona, California, Colorado, New Hampshire, Texas.
Online Survey Respondents
Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.
The TLM Survey was designed to parallel questions posed in previous research, allowing a direct comparison between the TLM attendees and those of the NOM. These were the topics:
- Approval of contraception
- Approval of abortion
- Weekly Mass attendance
- Approval of same sex marriage
- Percentage of income donated
- Annual Confession among weekly Mass attendees
- Fertility Rate
Modern society, by popular belief, is the cause of decreasing sacramental participation in the Catholic Church. However, the present survey, compared with other data, reveals a striking variance between Catholics attending the TLM versus those who attend the NOM. These differences are dramatic when comparing beliefs, church attendance, monetary generosity, and fertility rates.
Importantly, TLM families have a nearly 60% larger family size. This will translate to a changing demographic within the Church. TLM attendees donate 5 times more in the collection, indicating that they are far more invested than the NOM attendees. TLM Catholics go to Mass every Sunday at 4.5 times the rate of their NOM brethren. This implies a deep commitment to the faith. The almost universal adherence to the Sunday Mass obligation depicts Catholics who are deeply in love with their faith and cannot imagine missing their Sunday privilege.
Would young adult TLM Catholics be more likely to commit to a life in the Church? This question has never been studied among TLM Catholics since the inception of the 1970 NOM. Research is needed to explore TLM attendees’ vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life, Married Life, and Single Life within the 18-39 year old subset of TLM Catholics. Preliminary studies by this author indicate that the TLM produces 7-8 times the number of Priestly and Religious vocations. Reception of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony would also seem to be much higher among TLM attendees. Finally, how well does the TLM retain young adults once they leave their parent’s homes? Rigorous study on these topics are planned for 2019.
- CARA Annual Conf/Weekly Mass Feb 16, 2014
- CARA 2017 Mass attendance April 11, 2018 Huffington Post quoting Dr. Mark Gray
- Catholic Philly.com Donation % May 17, 2013
- Pew Research Catholic Fertility Rate May 12, 2015
- Pew Research Contraception Sept 28, 2016
- Pew Research Abortion Oct 15, 2018
- Relevant Magazine Donation % March 8, 2016
- Daily Wire Same sex marriage July 2, 2017
Posted on February 24, 2019, in holiness, liturgy and tagged Fr. Donald Kloster, latin mass, Latin Mass survey, novus ordo, TLM Survey. Bookmark the permalink. 141 Comments.
Lex orandi, lex vivendi.
It does indeed appear to demonstrate that the statement “It’s a different religion” is not too far off the mark.
Cardinal Sarah disagreed when I posted that the Novus Ordo seems to operate according to a different theology than the extraordinary form. I believe the risk of immanence exists wherever the focus of worship resides between the people and the priest, rather than eastward toward the Transcendent. I have sensed this in the past when I used to regularly attend ordinary-form Masses.
The NOM attendees would certainly correlate significantly more with Protestants than with TLM folks on all measures. Of course this should be obvious I guess because the intention of the NOM was to appeal to Protestants and the impact of Vatican II was to protestantize Catholics. The NOM and Vatican II are works of the devil. NOM Catholics have become Protestants.
The difference in the ways the various surveys were conducted prevents a proper comparison between TLM and NOM attitudes. The sample set for TLM is guaranteed to be nearly 100% Mass attendance, due to the survey methodology and the esoteric nature of TLM guaranteeing a narrow attitude sample. The methodology of the NOM surveys is a much wider sample of attitudes.
In order to correlate, one would need to adjust the NOM reportings to only take into consideration weekly mass attendees. This would then produce comparable attitudes (being those that are formed by the doxology and praxis of the various Mass structures.)
The intent of the survey is to compare the attitudes of those formed by the respective Masses. It is not proper to include the attitudes of those who do not attend NOM weekly in the comparison as such individuals cannot be said to be formed predominantly by the NOM. Nor can it be said that the results as published indicate that the NOM results in the majority of NOM Catholics holding non-Catholic positions.
Additionally, there is a million and one reasons why one might not attend the NOM. It could be because they disagree with what is taught in terms of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality. It could also be because they find the NOM abhorrent, but that is all that they have nearby, and thus choose not to go lest they are lead astray. Both responders tell us nothing about the attitudes of one formed by NOM.
You make some very interesting points.
One needs to be explored more fully, tho, and I have no idea how to do it.
It seems that examining only weekly Mass attenders of NOM would not be a proper limiting factor in that one of the contentions of many Traditionalists and “conservative” NOM folks is that commonly-accepted teaching has changed so much among prelates, priests and laity that weekly Mass is simply seen as not required and missing is no big deal and the “obligation” has been eliminated and this set of views thus forms a new “accepted” “teaching” of the Church. “We don’t believe that anymore” so to speak. Like Protestants shouldn’t receive communion, etc.
Thus, to eliminate all those who do not attend weekly from a survey of “Catholics” would be to eliminate a large percentage of folks who identify as “Catholics” and indeed, who are identified as “Catholics” by non-Catholics as well.
I see some concerns with the comparison between TLM and NOM attenders as you suggest, but it seems you are defining the latter by the orthodox teachings upheld by the former, by suggesting that only weekly Mass attendees should be queried.
I think you are suggesting the following which I would agree with if you are, and that is that it is probable that NOM attendees who attend every week, very likely also hold in common with TLM folks most of the other beliefs surveyed, or at least a higher percentage do. But such weekly attenders are a minority of those who consider themselves “Catholic” and as such, a minority of what the world of non-Catholics see as “Catholic”.
Never heard homosexulity, contraception, or abortion promoted at a NOM. Specious argument.
But have you heard homilies AGAINST those sins in NOM? Or better yet, the mention of hell…
“But have you heard homilies AGAINST those sins in NOM? Or better yet, the mention of hell…”
Actually, yes. In one NO parish, the Parochial Vicar talked about it. The devil is mentioned in many NO parishes here. In fact, a retired Jesuit (not a TLM priest!) in his homily/sermon, talked about the Holy Spirit leading Jesus to the desert to be tempted (which is counter to the Pope’s claim concerning the words “Lead us not into temptation”). This is a retired Jesuit, and he has very good sermons. Homilies against abortion? Yes, but not limited to abortion. They are against the culture of death, which does not target just the unborn, but also the infirm, the elderly, the imperfect, et al. Life is not just in the womb, it is from conception to one’s last breath. That is what I see as better in the NO (in the TLM, the Rosary is just for the unborn. In the NO, the Rosary is a Rosary for Life, from conception to the last breath.) I haven’t heard anything on homosexuality, but I have heard the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman in a NO parish. Even the former Pastor of one parish in Camp Hill mentioned the Baltimore Cathechism as a reference to explain his point in his homily. (I have heard some NO priests caution their parishioners about quoting the Baltimore Cathechism if they want to lead people to the Church).
You cannot say that the NO is this or that if you don’t attend it. I attend both, so I can say what I wrote in the previous paragraph. I prefer, however, the TLM because, as a regular adorer at the Perpetual Adoration Chapel here, I crave silence. I attend the Low Mass (I cannot stand the High Mass for the same reason. I don’t like all the singing. I want silence.)
Homosexuality was openly promoted in Chicago under Cardinal Bernardin. There’s still an only gay parish in Chicago today.
Agree as a statistician that the two comparisons are not equivalent. This is apples and oranges sort of stuff.
Always difficult to get statistical reliability when candidates are self-selected
> The difference in the ways the various surveys were conducted prevents a proper comparison between TLM and NOM attitudes.
One can draw plenty of meaningful conclusions from the data as resented. The findings also suggest additional useful avenues of research.
> one would need to adjust the NOM reportings to only take into consideration weekly mass attendees.
That’s a valid study. One could also survey TLM faithful who are not weekly attendees. Even without accounting for those factors, this study is still valid and reliable.
> Additionally, there is a million and one reasons why one might not attend the NOM.
No doubt. I think a reasonable hypothesis to test is that the NOM causes people to quit believing and practicing their Catholic faith. This study does nothing to counter that hypothesis, and the results can be reasonably interpreted to support it.
I look forward to seeing what the subsequent findings indicate.
I think that a separate column for Weekly NOM and Other NOM would be informative. Needless to say, one would expect the Weekly NOM to be closer to the TLM group but the nuances of the differences would be enlightening.
@Mark and The Owl
CARA has done significant and very thorough sampling over many years. Ditto for Pew Research. They both have a very good handle on the Novus Ordo numbers. I would go the other way from your assumptions.
There are lots of unaccounted for Catholics who are not registered anywhere, but received their sacraments in the Novus Ordo.
So, from 1965 to 2017, we went from 17,637 parishes down to 17,156 parishes, a net loss of 481 parishes (CARA). In that same time period we went from 48.5 million Catholics to 74.2 million Catholics. We lost 481 parishes and yet gained 25.7 million Catholics! Again, there are many Catholics not being counted.
The Traditional Catholics almost universally go to Mass, not so for the NOM being as there are so many unregistered/away from the faith. The 22% Mass attendance for the NOM is a very, very generous number.
Both of you may take 100 random kids from the Novus Ordo. I’ll even let you pick my 100 from the TLM. Give them all a catechism test. The TLM kids will blow the NOM kids out of the water. That’s most of my point. My mother was raised in the TLM and she knew her faith very well. The last 50 years of Catholic students has produced a severe deficit in catechetical knowledge. The common denominator for a successful catechetical product is the TLM. One nourishes the faith exponentially and the other is a deficient imitation. We must all ask ourselves; wherein resides fruitfulness?
Except you can’t measure that fruitfulness with such poor sampling standards. I’m not sure why your ‘statistician contributor’ didn’t detail your methodology, but from what’s there, it appears non-existent. I’m sure this took a lot of work on your part, but if we want to actually get at the truth, it can’t be this sloppy. This is more self gratification than scientific work.
The survey sample size, particularly the email (not in pew) responses, are actually quite thorough and extensive. Having said that, we more than welcome further studies on this. However, no one should hold their breath waiting for them, unless blue is your favorite color.
@mag No one is stopping you from proving my numbers wrong…I’d be interested to see your professional and scientific study. Was it the fertility rate or the percentage donated that got you critically motivated?
The fact is, CARA and the USA Bishops don’t want to know what they don’t want to know. I hope you are not in that grouping as well.
” No one is stopping you from proving my numbers wrong…I’d be interested to see your professional and scientific study.”
What sort of comment is this? “Proving your numbers wrong” doesn’t take a study, as the numbers don’t prove anything. Your methodology is barren of frame and selection information, and the reader is left to guess at most procedural aspects. I hope there’s some more thorough write-up ( and that doesn’t mean the raw data ), or this is hardly useful as a study.
@mag I guess I just have to take your word for it that the Study is faulty. You just intuitively know the Study is not useful. Thank you for the critique.
I still think you could do a much better Study and so I eagerly await your superior, intelligent, scientific, thoroughly methodical, laser focused, and complete results. That is not facetious. It would be useful for me to discern whether you are a Monday morning quarterback or you have some solid data to back up your words.
In other words, don’t ask every novus ordite, just the ones who will give you the right answers.
Congratulations on arriving at the intuitively obvious conclusion that those who self-select to escape the liberal Catholic hoi polloi will be more conservative than them. This is a fallacy known as cherry-picking. Are you trying to prove that the Extraordinary Form intrinsically makes Catholics more orthodox? If so your methodology is completely invalid. To prove that, you’d have to take liberal Catholics and expose them to the Extraordinary Form — without simultaneously exposing them to conservatives — for a period of time and see if they turn into conservatives. All this survey appears to do is give Extraordinary Form attendees justification for self-congratulation. “I thank thee, Lord, that I am not like this Novus Ordo Catholic, contracepting, aborting, approving of homosexual marriage. I pay tithes on all I have; I fast once a week…” Etc. Have mercy on us sinners!
I don’t think it’s quite the way you describe, but the one unanswered/unanswerable question is what would the state of the Church look like today if the NOM had never been inaugurated.
We don’t know.
But we do know that every single prelate, priest and peritus present at Vatican 2 was the product of a TLM culture and so were all those that contributed to the creation of the NOM.
So I wonder if it would look all that much different?
Not necessarily true – there were enemies of the TLM present/influencing (Protestant and Jewish periti) and many of the “products” of the TLM culture were products in rebellion of it (if not just downright infiltrating traitors – every group seems to have it Judas).
@Justin Martyr It’s a National Study with 1,750+ samples (that is a huge sample size). There are 16 states represented. No one has ever done anything like this.
If you don’t agree with it, be my guest to do your own study. I’m not sure you realize how difficult this was to compile. Even if my margin of error is very high, the TLM results are so far superior that they communicate a huge difference between the fruit of the two Masses within the Roman Rite to anyone who is not biased or an ideologue.
I’m anxious to hear the response of Dr. Mark Gray of CARA. He has his pulse on the Catholic Church in America and has been doing polling of Catholics for years. He has the study in his possession and said he would analyze it for me. To my knowledge, he has no connection to the TLM. If he largely agrees with my findings, it would seem you’d still find fault with the Study….ideologies are hard to overcome.
Perhaps one of the greatest questions missed would be Belief in the True Presence…Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord!
I am with you Michael Dowd.
2010 Pew Research found that 45% of Catholics (who went to Mass) did not believe in the Real Presence. Among Catholics who don’t go to Mass, that number soars to at least 70%. If you asked TLM attendees, that number would be 95% or better.
95% belief in the Real Presence.
UPDATE: 2019 research found 63% of Catholics who attend weekly believe in the real presence.
Update: only 31% believe in the Real Presence, 69% believe the Eucharist is only a symbol. Pew survey, August 2019.
@Brian, can we please compare apples to apples? Your 31 percent number comes from ALL surveyed. My 63 percent number comes from those who attend Mass at least weekly, which was the number Fr. Kloster cited in his original comment that I responded to.
Yes, let’s continue to cite Fr. Kloster’s data, this survey, and the faithfuls response to tradition and authenticity. Only good can come from the continued restoration of Catholicism. Deo gratias!
CARA survey from 2007 says that 91% of weekly Mass goers believe in the True Presence.
Whew …. good thing you did not include in your survey South Carolina or your Positive Latin Mass data would have been skewed so bad people would not have believed you!
Or is it a bit of chicken-egg conundrum – do TLMers go to the TLM because they are more orthodox to begin with, or does the TLM make them more orthodox? If we were working from parity (i.e., the TLM and NOM were relatively commonly offered side by side), then a comparison of the effects of one over the other might be plausible. The way it is now, where one has to go to some efforts to attend TLM, I would venture it is more likely being orthodox increases your likelihood of attending the TLM rather than vice versa. One thing that is undeniable is that TLMers are more orthodox than NOMs. So it is reasonably plausible that the TLM reinforces one’s orthodoxy, whereas the the NOM does not. And this is hardly surprising, giving the whole raison d’etre of the NOM was to make Catholicism more Protestant. A very “water is wet” discovery.
> is it a bit of chicken-egg conundrum…
Another take is that conservative Catholics who go to the TLM rely on the TLM to help them remain conservative. Chicken *and* egg.
This example is anecdotal and qualitative, but it can help with perspective on possible interpretations of the data: in the case of this convert from Protestantism 20 years ago, the Traditional Faith (Mass, catechism, etc.) led me to want to embrace the conservative, orthodox life, which I’d never before been exposed to. I’d known plenty of NOM Catholics and been a guest at the NOM, but it was the Traditional Latin world that brought me into the fold.
What I stated was absolutely true.
That some were enemies of the faith and possibly even hated the liturgy itself specifically is a different thing entirely. The point is that one’s exclusive experience of the TLM is no guarantee of one’s orthodoxy or orthopraxy.
Indeed, some numbers of monsters among sex abusing priests we have read about for the last 30 years were ordained in the TLM, and millenia’s worth of criminals, tyrants and evil-doers of all nationalities who grew up Catholic in the Latin Rite before the NOM was inaugurated experienced nothing but the TLM. The TLM by itself is no guarantee that the individual experiencing it will respond in faith.
Put another way, many who experienced a face-to-face relationship with Christ Himself denied Him and otherwise rejected His teaching.
Having said all that, I believe the TLM is vastly superior to the NOM for many reasons.
Both sets of propositions can be true.
More than a little concerned that a whole 2% of TLM attendees seems to be totally on-board with the modernist agenda in everything else except the Mass they attend =-\ Worth noting; don’t presume that, just because someone attends the TLM, that it means they’re on-board with Church teaching.
8% (1 of 12) of the Apostles were on board with betraying Our Lord.
92% (11 of 12) of the Apostles were on board with abandoning Him.
The Church has always been made up of the wheat and the chaff.
And Father, I believe I see demonic screaming.
One more question should be asked, as I have seen the (pitifully low) statistic quoted for NOM attendees – How many TLM attendees believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and not a mere symbol, how many believe that Mass is a sacrifice and not a meal?
Sorry, this com box doesn’t let you edit or delete questions. Sorry for redundancy of the Real Presence question. I’m sure the results of the “Mass as a sacrifice” question would yield similar results
Let’s look at the source materials cited above, to clarify some of the questions raised.
To start with, here is the Pew Center report from 2016 with the statement on contraception. According to the writer, only 13% of weekly Mass attenders agree that conttaception is morally wrong:
This 13% disapproval figure does not exactly correspond to the 89% approval figure given in the table above. Can Dr. Fisher explain the difference?
There is an America Jesuit Review article from September 28, 2016. It quotes Pew Research’s newly released finding and here it is verbatim:
“Just 8 percent said contraception is morally wrong, with 89 percent saying it was either morally acceptable or not a moral issue at all.”
Check what you read. There is no evidence to support that NOM Catholics, who practice at any frequency, are less than 50% on board with contraception. For crying out loud, do your own poll in your own parish. Contraception is widely practiced and widely accepted in NOM circles.
You flipped your numbers. Read it more clearly. Even with your citation, it is 87% of Catholics who say contraception is morally acceptable or no moral issue at all. We’re going to argue over 2%?
Thanks for responding, Fr. Kloster. First of all, I should say hello: you’re in a wonderful parish, where I actually have a few friends already.
As an old techie (MS in applied math), I naturally take an interest in your presentation, and, in case there was any misunderstanding, I’m not arguing against the merits of your survey. In fact, you could even make your presentation a little stronger by providing the relevant quotations from CARA and Pew directly in your footnotes. so that people can see for themselves that you are indeed accurately presenting what CARA and Pew stated.
This is worth doing because people are right to be skeptical about statistical claims.
But now that you’ve explained the source you used for that 89% statistic, I might fault you for placing too much trust in secondary sources and Jesuits.
NOM is appalling and should never have happened
Please put it to bed forever!!!
NOM was intended to destroy the Catholic Church and render it Protestant as shown below:
“We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren; that is for the Protestants.”
— Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, L’Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965
Being in a visible, orthodox minority does put one in the danger of the temptation of rash judgment. Let all traddies pray often, and may all the Faithful, pray often: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
I believe the data is flawed. To truly compare TLM to NOM, you would need to compare only weekly attendees. Adding in the large % of non-weekly attending Catholics in the NOM is going to skew the results. Of course this doesn’t speak highly for the NOM, and we can discuss its role in leading to such an outcome, but for the purposes of comparing practice and belief, more meaningful results would come from comparing the weekly mass goers from each group.
I would like to highlight a post from Fr Kloster in the replies down below: “So, from 1965 to 2017, we went from 17,637 parishes down to 17,156 parishes, a net loss of 481 parishes (CARA). In that same time period we went from 48.5 million Catholics to 74.2 million Catholics. We lost 481 parishes and yet gained 25.7 million Catholics!”
In fact, it’s worse than this. For starters, according to the data in Kenedy (which you can find at Catholic-hierarchy.org), the number of parishes in this country HAS dropped from 18,224 in 1970 to 17,156 in 2017 (and with the current wave of parish closings, I’m sure it is sliding under 17,000 now).
But here’s what is really striking, if you further unpack CARA’s own numbers: you can see that in 1970, we had 22.99 million Catholics regularly attending Mass in the United States. In 2017, however, it was down to 15.75 million, despite the fact that the number of baptized Catholics has *grown* by over 20 million.
And as bad as that is, how much worse would these numbers be without large scale immigration of Catholics from Latin America and East Asia? They count every bit as much as Catholics, of course, but their arrival helps mask statistically (and financially) the profound collapse of Catholic observance and belief among Catholics of indigenous standing over the past five decades.
In 2002 I had a choice to make: Do I develop and administer focused course surveys, preliminary and exit exams, and student self-assessments, even though I was the only one that I was aware of at my university doing this type of informal research, or not? Since a number of government agencies were paying me to come up with answers, I decided to do it. Later, when I discovered the role of the IRB at a workshop and became certified, I added the language that would allow me to make public my results. Whether the results impacted my immediate national and local audiences or not, they did impact my courses and the courses taught by my group.
So my question for this forum is this: Do we sit on our hands and do nothing because our first attempt at a survey is more limited in its scope than something more sophisticated might be? Or do we make a start, perhaps a stumbling start, a move in the direction of potentially producing new knowledge where only anecdotes and speculation existed before?
In some cases, any information is better than none. In others, if information presents a skewed perception of what the reality is, it’s better to refrain from presenting it. If this data could be presented so that it compared only actual practicing (weekly) Catholics from both groups, I think it would be worth presenting. Because of the incredibly huge population of non practicing Catholics that will skew the results. This is just my uneducated opinion though, and I do appreciate this post and the stimulating discussion. Thanks.
If Fr. Kloster decides to move forward with his study, there can be no question that constructive criticism from his peers (us?) can help him produce a better result. I would urge those with expertise and time (this is the rub) to contribute to his effort. We do not know the future of continuance of the extraordinary form in the Church, but what we do know is that as laymen we have a duty to support our clergy in the pursuit of truth for the benefit of the less capable. I agree that before we can instruct the ignorant, we ourselves must be in possession of the truth, the reality.
I do not know how willing a given diocese is to allow the distribution of a survey to Novus Ordo parishes. Mine certainly was not. I was told that a professional organization had been hired to do a similar survey, and therefore mine was not needed. I am sure there would have been some overlap in the questions for the two surveys (e.g., number and distribution of children of school age), but I can guarantee that the diocesan survey would not have asked many of the questions on my survey.
I support Fr. Kloster and his effort. That said, it seems that the goal of his project is to provide convincing evidence that a problem exists, a problem that Novus Ordo clergy seem reluctant to discuss the reasons for in public. His solution seems to be to promote the extraordinary form of the Mass and sacraments. I would agree that this can be a very important first step. But I believe there to be a co-first step that is equally important: a revolution in Catholic education. Not necessarily newer, but better. Take the best of the past and combine it with the best of the present. In the present context of education, this might be viewed as innovative to those with an open mind.
I don’t think surveying the Church at large in America is that hard. CARA has already done most of the hard work for us.
I would rather see an updated CARA survey of these questions, properly worded, of Catholics in the U.S. generally, using their sampling pool and methods; they have already shown they do a pretty fair job of that, whatever they might do in discussing it. Presuming that they break down responses between Mass attending and non-attending Catholics – which they often do.
The hard part would then be to take their survey questions and try to come up with a scientifically acceptable sample of TLM parishes and communities, and survey them until an acceptable response rate is generated.
The hardest part of all would be to try to nail down aggregate attendance numbers, because it varies so widely, and so many do not take attendance.
I do appreciate the comments of rmandock and Richard Malcolm.
I’m not sure most people understand how hard it would be to randomly call and then contact a TLM attendee. It would be like finding a needle in a hay stack.
My Study was done with my own personal contacts around the country. Then too, I personally talked to several people in each of the 16 states. In many ways, getting the amount of samples I was able to amass was a minor miracle. There were many days I thought it just couldn’t be done. So many didn’t want to participate or told me they didn’t have the time to help my endeavor. I got a lot of proverbial doors slammed in my face via the phone and the internet.
To me, it was providential that I got 1300+ samples in pew and 451 samples online. I’m not inclined to believe that people lie when they take a survey like this. Even if one thinks they do, why would a phone interview be any less susceptible to lying or the data be any more reliable? I rather think that a phone interview is just as unverifiable as an in pew survey. When everything is said and done, you are relying on an individual to be truthful and you can never be 100% sure they have been. Again, the percentage differences are so big that my margin of error is huge and then I still proved what I have witnessed time and again over 3 continents, 4 countries, and 11 USA Dioceses.
But, the big thing in the favor of the Study is that the numbers were virtually the same percentages online as they were in the pew. To me online samples and a phone sample are kissing cousins.
If you don’t have a dog in the fight, you have to know how woefully the NOM has sustained the faith. Why is the TLM producing 7 to 8 times the vocations? Where is the NOM fruitfulness? The TLM is teeming with ripe succulent fruit. The demographics prove my study for me. The TLM is the Mass of the Church going forward and there is nothing anyone can do to stop that fact. As my mother always said, “hide and watch.”
Something things were interesting inside the numbers. Texas had much bigger family sizes and a medium collection percentage. Colorado had the lowest birth rate and the biggest collection percentage. It makes sense because many of the Colorado women are California and/or West Coast transplants. The TLM Mass attendance actually went from 98% to 99% after the sexual scandal broke in August 2018.
Needle in a haystack? I am a founding member of our FSSP parish in Atlanta, Our Latin Mass community started in December 1995. I was asked to develop a K-12 CCD program in September of that year and to be DRE in January 1996. The Archbishop confirmed my appointment as DRE the next day. Our Sunday Mass attendance is around 500. I know because I do the counting for the 9:00 low Mass. Chances are good that many adults from my parish would be willing to respond to your survey.
A couple of years ago two Latin Mass communities in Texas contacted me about guidance on how to start their own CCD program. I created a chronological history of our program and sent them my catechist and parent orientation guides, I am slowly compiling resources for a “how to” book. Perhaps you have contacted these communities about taking your survey. If not, I probably still have their contact information.
Do I have a dog in the fight? That depends on which dog you are talking about. I have been fighting for liturgical and catechetical orthodoxy since the mid-1990s. Would you call that a dog? Why do you think I spent 10 years developing a better model for Catholic education at the high school level? I am itching to take the gloves off.
By the way, it seems that Trump’s HHS Office for Civil Rights has decided to speak with me about the complaint I filed immediately after the Office was established. I just received the first message about the case this afternoon. I will be speaking with an attorney tomorrow. The case is called “Mandock, Randal vs U.S. Congress and HHS.” Gee, maybe I’m gonna be somebody. I told them in my complaint that I want my Catholic hospital back. Obama ran it out of business not long after the Dems decreed that “Obamacare”:was the law of the land. Let’s see how far HHS is willing to go to bring the Sisters of Mercy back to Atlanta. Is this another dog in another fight? Hmm. Just maybe…
By the, by the way, I have attended Mass at several FSSP and Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest parishes and oratories during the last 20 years. I know some of the pastors of these ecclesial bodies. Let me know if you are interested in broadening your sample base.
I think an appropriate question for a survey is: “Be honest, do you personally think that those who celebrate the other form can grow in holiness just as much as you can?”
I sure hope so
Here’s another take on that:
“Are you awkward or embarrassed when talking about your aspirations to be holy, or is it a routine and pleasant topic of conversation for you?”
This is a ridiculous survey. The results are rather obvious & the entire “argument” circular. We already know that those that deliberately seek out a TLM are very engaged in their faith. That is great. We also know that the immediate Mass available to most Catholics is NOM & the principle Mass to which they have been exposed for their entire life. To suggest that there is correlation or causation is naive at best. As a faithful Catholic who regularly attends the NOM every Sunday, I’m fully in line with the Church’s teachings on all of the points of the survey (contraception, abortion & gay marriage). I also donate 10% & have 7 kids. I also am not personally drawn to the TLM. I’m not opposed to it – I just don’t get it. And the attitude within the Church of “if you’re holy enough, you’ll prefer the TLM” is ridiculous, foolish & harmful to the Body overall. The impression I’m under is that this article is really sent to further push the opinion that the TLM is superior to the NOM despite the fact that this position runs contrary to what Mother Church has clearly articulated.
“And the attitude within the Church of ‘if you’re holy enough, you’ll prefer the TLM’ is ridiculous, foolish & harmful to the Body overall.”
This is a common misperception. Discussion of the liturgy isn’t about how ‘great’ the attendees are, but rather the efficacious merit & form of the ancient rite of the Church. Believe it or not, there is truth to the axiom, “lex orandi, lex credendi”, whether you accept that or not.
I find it odd: when a parent extols the Montessori method, or their kids charter school, no one slams the parents for claiming superiority. It’s understood that it’s the school/method…not the enrolled…that is being highlighted. No difference here.
The Vatican II reformers, early modernists, Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Barth, indeed Luther and Cranmer, all attended or celebrated the Latin Mass exclusively. What of their beliefs?
It has already been noted that the survey of the TLM attenders is cherry-picking, because it privileges and over-represents those who are already physically in church—who are will obviously attend at a higher rate than those not present. Further, the TLM group are self-selecting for “conservationism” or “orthodoxy.”
But there is another problem, the other questions focus almost completely on sexual moral issues. We should also like to know:
Do attenders exhibit antisemitic attitudes?
Do attenders exhibit racist attitudes?
Are they sedevacantists or reject the authority of Pope Francis?
Do they believe that the hosts are validly consecrated at NO Masses?
Do they think that NO priests have vaild orders?
Do they reject scientific conclusions on climate change and also reject Laudato si?
Do they reject evolution as contrary to faith and so also reject Humani Generis?
What percentages are Republicans or Democrats?
Do they think there is a Masonic conspiracy to destroy the Church?
We might find that the TLM attenders are just as much dissenters as the NO attenders, they just reject Church teaching on different issues.
All great points.
Another area for consideration: evangelization and missionary zeal. I’m not quite sure how to word a question that would effectively assess this area. That said, most of the efforts I see to bring the Gospel to the world are the fruits of NO attendees. Alternatively LTM attendees seem more closed in on themselves. Perhaps that observation is incorrect, but it’s a perception that exists.
Matt, I’m afraid that’s a bit too subjective. I see Latin Mass communities as being very focused on evangelization, first & foremost through their openness to life and then their support for vocational discernment. As Fr. Kloster & I have both written about in the past, the priests & religious brothers & sisters of the future, the booming seminaries, are those steeped in, and formed by, tradition; particularly the ancient Rite. In addition, traditionalist families are a constant witness to others by their simple refusal to give up our traditional faith, disciplines, and morals. That *some* may turn away from much within the Church & the culture (at times), but this is often in response to the imposed segregation and persecution (often) fostered by their own bishops, priests, and family members.
I’ve seen the exact opposite in terms of evangelization in my Diocese. In fact, we’re losing TLM priests because the Mass goers give them heavy criticism about things like speaking too loud or not loud enough, not bowing low enough, or not raising the Eucharist high enough.
Neither of our TLM communities has active outreach in the area, while nearly all of our NO parishes either have active outreach ministries of their own or participate in those sponsored by the Diocese.
It would be wonderful if there was a way to word these questions and get a more scientific look at evangelization. Do we have those programs and attitudes? Are they effective? How effective?
Thank you for your comment. I needed some good satire today.
Yes, now I understand…. it doesn’t matter if the TLM attendees are going to Mass 4 times as often. It doesn’t matter that they are giving 5 time as much in the collection. It doesn’t matter that they have a 60% bigger family.
I’ll write it again. You pick 100 kids or adults that go to the NOM. You can even pick my 100 TLM attendees for me. Let’s give them a catechism test and see who does better. I have lots of experience testing both Mass attendees. It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure our which group will blow away which group. Then too, spiritual jealously is awfully hard to overcome.
Demographics can’t be argued.
There is no way up for the NOM. All the numbers keep tanking year after year decade after decade.
I am in 100% agreement with your survey. There should be no question about the fundamental conclusions. TLM folks are clearly and hugely more observant of Catholic Church teaching than NOM attendees. The reason for this is that NOM folks are the victims of Vatican II Modernist theology which was intended to protestantize the Catholic Church as indicated by the following quote:
“We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren; that is for the Protestants.”
– Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, L’Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965
Vatican II was a catastrophe for the Church and must be abrogated in its entirety. One obvious proof is this survey itself.. We should also note that with the arrival of Pope Francis the true scope of the evil of Vatican II is now being fully revealed. The devil must be very proud of all he has accomplished in the last 50 years. The vineyard is now nearly fully devastated and the shepherds have fled.
Clarity is needed before this survey can be administered.
> Do attenders exhibit antisemitic attitudes?
Please define “antisemtitic.” Irrational dislike or hatred of Jews? That is certainly sinful – Pius XII said we Catholics are “spiritual Semites.”
> Do attenders exhibit racist attitudes?
Please define “racist.” Irrational dislike of any racial group besides one’s own? But we are all brothers in Christ, neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free – all Baptized Catholics are one in Christ Jesus.
> Are they sedevacantists or reject the authority of Pope Francis?
The Orthodox reject the authority of Pope Francis – are they sedevacantists, or just schismatics? Is there a meaningful difference?
> Do they believe that the hosts are validly consecrated at NO Masses?
There are priests in the NO who say they do not believe in the True Presence. Do they validly consecrate? Is it possible to parse and say that some hosts at NO Masses are valid, and others are not?
> Do they think that NO priests have vaild (sic) orders?
Is the proper matter, form, and intent observed in the priest’s ordination? If yes, then the orders are valid; if not, then no.
> Do they reject scientific conclusions on climate change and also reject Laudato si?
On the scientific front: One can accept scientific conclusions on climate change and reject political posturing and novelties that masquerades as scientific conclusions.
On the religious front: As for Laudato si, is an ecological conversion the same thing as a moral and religious conversion to the Catholic Faith? Whether the answer is yes or no, the encyclical needed to reaffirm the primacy of procreation because the worldwide ecological movement is already being run by people who think humanity is a plague on the planet and needs to be reduced in size by a supreme secularized government. I’d like to see the Catholic Church maintain her independence and dignity and not be subject to such a body.
> Do they reject evolution as contrary to faith and so also reject Humani Generis?
Materialistic and atheistic evolution has been repeatedly condemned by the Church; St. Pius X treated this in Pascendi. In Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII allowed for the possibility of exploring scientific theories that human bodies could have progressed through stages; the Holy Father also reminded us that the soul is a spiritual faculty given directly and immediately to a body by God and is not a result of evolutionary forces.
> What percentages are Republicans or Democrats?
I imagine TLM Catholics tend toward Republican. My German Catholic family has been involved in state politics for decades; they were always Democrats, and most of them don’t go to Mass any more.
> Do they think there is a Masonic conspiracy to destroy the Church?
The Masons sure seem to think so, especially in Europe and South America.
Interesting. It would, however, be useful to get data with some form of differentiation within the NOM. It’s a very mixed bunch, so putting it all together gives a very rough picture.
For example, it would be interesting to know how much of the “good” results within the NOM group comes from the more liturgically minded and doctrinally traditional Catholics, who nevertheless attended NOM.
While I agree with you, the TLM advocates will most certainly employ their circular logic. Goes something like this…
“NOM Catholics aren’t good Catholics. How do we know that? Good Catholics don’t go to NOM.”
Many responses on this thread clearly indicate the belief that there is something magical that happened when the Mass was said in english. Somehow simply by changing the Mass from their preference, it magically resulted in poor catechesis and formation. It couldn’t possibly be that these things are independent of each other – that perhaps when the Mass changed a whole lot of other changes were underway in the culture at the same time. I’ve heard this argument before: “Just look at church attendance/church fidelity/catechesis/etc. before the change and after the change.” As if the Mass change was the single change that occurred like in a vacuum.
Have you all ever read Paul VI’s address true Wednesday immediately preceding the change? It’s one of lamentation because he also preferred the ritual of the past. Having said that, he also recognized that the current state of the world called for something different that could be more accessible to an increasingly secular world. Had it not been for the NOM our churches would be even more empty.
@Matt Tortorich The National Survey was done on one level to answer your faulty conclusion. Since I was a little boy I was told by priests and laymen alike that the decrease in sacramental participation was due to the society.
It is patently not true.
The NOM didn’t save anything, it was a complete forced rupture from tradition. If the people had been given a choice, the NOM would have been attended by very few progressive minded Catholics. The TLM would be still going strongly forward.
In 2018, everyone lived in the same USA society. We are all neighbors and all have the same challenges and blessings around us. Where is the fruit of the NOM Mass? Is it empty seminaries and closed schools? They were all full before the 2nd Vatican Council (which never called for a Novus Ordo).
Now, the TLM is responsible for almost all of the new monasteries and convents in the USA. The TLM people are going to Sunday Mass at a 99% clip. They give 5 times what their fellow NOM attendees give in the collection basket. They have a 3.6 birthrate (1960 birthrate was 3.65), which is a 60% larger family size.
There is a TLM priest to faithful ratio of 1:245 (2017) and a NOM priest to faithful ratio of 1:1843 as of 2016. Remember we all live in the same society. There was a lot of fruit prior to 1965. There are two success stories that both have the TLM as their source. Only someone who doesn’t want to know what he doesn’t want to know would deny what is currently transpiring in the Catholic Church.
Thank you for publishing these survey results. I’ve shared this infiormation with several friends, and I look forward to seeing the results of your ongoing research in 2019-2020.
In your analysis you write, “TLM attendees donate 5 times more in the collection, indicating that they are far more invested than the NOM attendees.”
As a percentage this is true. Do we know the median household income levels for both groups? Knowing that would set useful context for interpreting the data.
Your query is why I wanted the depression era giving for all Christians in the survey. The depression era Christians (all faiths included) gave 3.3% of their income. If they could do that when no one had any money, then it matters very little what a modern day family is earning. Right now, Protestants are .8% below what their forefathers gave and NOM Catholics are 2.1% below what their forefathers gave in the 1930s.
The TLM 6% (2018) is an average. It averages in everyone. There are very wealthy NOM attendees and their giving averages out to 1.2% because NOM givers are not as generous on average (there are exceptions). I have been assigned in 3 parishes where the NOM and TLM were in the same church. The TLM always brought in much more money than the NOM by a factor of at least 3 times greater. Here at St. Mary’s Norwalk, the TLM is a Solemn High Mass on Sundays. We have 5 additional NOM Masses. The TLM should bring in 17% of the income. It brings in 50% of our income or three times what one would expect from one of 6 Sunday Obligation Masses.
The depression era data caught my eye; I’m glad you included it.
Another reason I asked about the median income is that one point of feedback I received when I shared this numbers is that poorer and blue-collar people generally are more religious, and that people with higher income levels are usually better educated and therefore less likely to be religious – i.e. upward mobility, education, and affluence account for the differences in belief and worship more than worship.
If there is a difference in Mass attendance influenced by income, I would expect median income to be an influence but not a deciding factor.
One factor that makes this tricky is that incomes levels are usually tracked by household. TLM Catholics in my experience tend to have just one breadwinner; a working mother, meanwhile, generally translates into fewer children, lower Mass attendance, and other differences in other measures in the study.
I take your point that whatever the causes or influences, the pattern seems to be that if one fits himself for the TLM, one will hold conventional Catholic belief and practice, while the NOM militates in a different direction.
I also don’t want to over-generalize: my friends in NOM chapels love the Catholic Faith. I also find that there are points where they agree with me more than their fellow parishioners – e.g. “Where’d they put the Tabernacle?” is a recurring complaint.
“They were all full before the 2nd Vatican Council (which never called for a Novus Ordo).”
Yes, but if we are not going to be ideologues ourselves we must honestly face the fact that VII in no way called for the TLM either. It voted 2,147 to 4 to change it (“Church’s Liturgy: Growth and Development”, p.95). Those are huge numbers against the TLM. I can’t imagine that all of the 2,147 bishops were progressives, especially considering that a quarter of them wanted the Fifth Marian Dogma promulgated, which, by the way, is the only means by which the Church will eventually be restored. The TLM sorely lacks the theological insights that have officially passed into the Magisterium regarding Mary, Minister of Grace, in the contemporary Roman Liturgy in virtue of the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The law of prayer certainly does not meet the standard of the law of belief in the TLM regarding the official doctrinal assertions of VII regarding Mary, who is intrinsic to any Eucharistic Sacrifice. But I digress. The simply fact of the matter is that until the members of the Church actually live up to Sacrosanctum Concilium both sides are not living with Her and therefore seem to be apart from Her.
“It brings in 50% of our income or three times what one would expect from one of 6 Sunday Obligation Masses.”
Yes, but that is represenitive of nothing but socio-economic status, as indicated by the Solemn Mass at St. Mary’s itself. A Mass of that caliber may have been heard once a year in Christendom and then only perhaps in Vienna and not even in Rome. People there get it every week. And yet the people still complain about the Ordinary Form even to the point of calling its sacramental validity into question even when St. Mary’s Ordinary Form actually comes very close to what Sacrosanctum Concilium, and therefore the Church, actually intended in its legitimate attempts to reform the TLM.
No surprise. We are truly “fed” spiritually at the Latin Mass. Reverence is a given, no wishy washy “feel-good” homilies. We know we are there to worship God! To thank Him and praise him. We need more parishes to have the Latin Mass daily. Our congregation is made up of oldsters like me, but a significant numer of younger people are attending, and children with their parents also. I am glad our pastor has continued the Latin Mass. Decades ago a bishop forbade it but thanks to Pope Benedict XVI it was restored.
I would attend TLM in a heartbeat if it was offered here. I’m sure there are many Catholics out there who would do the same.
How about asking the daily/weekly NOM attendees if they would prefer to attend the TLM were it available in their area? Count me in that group. I know many more who find themselves in the same situation.
I’d love to see the raw data that led to these conclusions, preferably in an Excel spreadsheet… I’m learning how to do data analytics, and this topic is important to me. Where can I find it?
Catholic light…less calories( sins)….I plan to go to Corpus Christi in Lubbock,Tx. Sunday (10/6) I miss Mater Dei in Irving,Tx. God,please bring us back to you through the Tridentine Mass!
Hmmm, I want to believe that TLM produces these numbers but I do not think you can say any real insight about this study without accounting for age, can anyone direct me to a breakdown by age for this?
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