The Growth of the Latin Mass: A Survey

The traditional Latin Mass seems to be on every Catholic’s mind right now, up to and including the pope’s. The recent motu proprio Traditionis Custodes restricting the celebration of the TLM has brought the topic to the forefront. Importantly, the pope’s actions presume the TLM is growing in adherents and influence in the Church. After all, if very few Catholics were going to this Mass, why would Francis take action?

But is this the case? Is TLM attendance growing? Most advocates of the TLM have assumed growth in recent months and years; Crisis Magazine even hosted a podcast in March titled, “Why is Traditional Catholicism Booming?” But the “fact” of traditional Catholicism growth was anecdotal—although many people were noting an increase in attendance at their TLM, there was no data to prove growth was happening.

To remedy this, Crisis Magazine surveyed U.S. parishes that offer at least one regularly scheduled TLM. We sought to determine any changes in their TLM attendance since January 2019. While we could have attempted to ascertain a longer history of TLM attendance, we wanted to focus on recent growth, while also establishing a baseline that predated COVID-19 restrictions. This would give a solid idea of the extent of any growth in recent years… read on

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