Tuesday, 29 July 2008

A TLM in every parish: how are we doing?!

A friend thought I would be interested in some statistics compiled by the indomitable Mr Peter Perkins, and with his kind permission, indeed I am.

Why the number of TLMs matters

I think we should be taking seriously Cardinal Castillo's comment that the aim of Summorum Pontificum is to have a TLM in every parish. It is the best counter to liturgical abuses there is, by all reports dramatically impacting on the way a priest says a novus ordo mass and perceives his role. It might help bring people to Catholicism - after all traddie communities tend to be attract converts. And at the purely pragmatic level, it would mean that traditional catholics can safely venture outside their ghettos, even if just for holidays and the like!

Now we all know this vision is going to take time to realise.

And the figures rather reinforce that notion. Overall, TLMs make up only around one-fifth of one per cent of all Masses world-wide....so there is a long, long way to go! The interesting data though are on the distribution of those masses.

Overall availability

Now the statistics are only indicative - while the number of faithful by country is relatively easy to find, records of the number of masses being said are rather more variable in quality. Moreover, this count includes SSPX masses, which many will feel are not strictly interchangeable - but their impact is apparently most significant only in the rankings for France, Germany and Argentina. Geographic distribution of masses is obviously also important, and perhaps distorts results for some countries - Italy for example has very small dioceses, so travelling to reach a mass may not be as much of an issue as in countries like Australia!

All the same, the data are intriguing.

Mr Perkins groups the world into three broad regions in terms of accessibility of the Extraordinary Form:

1. Best Access: Western Europe, Northern America, Australia, New Zealand. TLM are somewhere around one-third of one per cent of all Masses said.

2. Poor Access: Southern America, Central to Eastern Europe. TLMs are about one-tenth of one per cent of all Masses.

3. Abysmal Access: Asia, Africa, the Pacific.

We should all head over to New Zild....

I think the main news of import is that Australian traddies should clearly emigrate to New Zealand, which ranks fourth in the world in terms of TLMs per catholic! Every single NZ diocese now has an every Sunday TLM. Now it is true that a TLM in Wellington is not much use to you if you happen to live across the Cook Strait in Nelson, or are similarly distant from other centres, say on the West Coast, but still, the kiwis are doing a lot better than we are in Oz!

In fact, only 73% of Australian dioceses have an authorized TLM, and we come in thirteenth (just beating the US) in terms of masses per faithful in the international rankings.

Now I know there is some under-reporting in relation to Australia for various reasons (yes that means you Sydney, amongst others. How about someone putting those various non-FSSP masses into the various online databases?), whereas I suspect the NZ Ecclesia Dei Society makes sure the various lists are pretty up-to-date. Still, it is a useful benchmark I think.

And there are some interesting results. Some countries we traditionally think of as Catholic, and with which many Australians have strong family ties - like Ireland, Poland, the Philippines and Italy - are doing very badly TLM-wise relatively speaking. It is also noticeable that the countries where Catholicism is still actually growing, like India are also very low down the rankings.

The League table

The list goes:

1. Estonia - 1 Gregorian Mass for every 2,500 faithful.

2. Lebanon. 1 Gregorian Mass for every 5,000 Latin faithful.

3. Liechtenstein.

4. New Zealand: 1 Gregorian Mass per every 29,000 faithful. Every diocese has a TLM at least every Sunday.

5. Switzerland.

6. Sweden.

7. Singapore.

8. Gabon: 1 per 102,500 faithful.

9. England & Wales: 1 per 108,000 faithful. 91% of dioceses have an every Sunday TLM.

10. Guam (U.S.).

11. Scotland

12. France. 1 Gregorian Mass per every 149,000 faithful. 95% of dioceses have an every Sunday TLM.

13. Australia: 1 Gregorian Mass per every 159,000 faithful. 78% of dioceses have an every Sunday TLM (73% excluding SSPX masses).

14. U.S.A.: 1 Gregorian Mass per every 160,000 faithful. 96% of diocese have an every Sunday TLM (95% excluding SSPX).

15. Germany: 1 Gregorian Mass for every 241,000 faithful.

16. Austria: 1 Gregorian Mass for every 288,000 faithful.

17. Guadeloupe (French).

18. Martinique (French).

19. Canada: 1 Gregorian Mass per every 319,000 faithful. 62% of dioceses with a Sunday TLM

20. Belgium.

21. Luxembourg.

22. Ireland. 1 Gregorian Mass for every 416,000 faithful.

23. South Africa.

24. Free China (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao).

25. Italy: 1 Gregorian Mass for every 739,000 faithful.

26. Bénin.

27. Chile

29. Netherlands: 1 Gregorian Mass per every 1,260,500 faithful.

30. Zimbabwe

31. Poland.

32. Slovenia.

33. Argentina. 1: 1,815,000 faithful.

34. Spain.

35. India.

36. Dominican Republic

37. Lithuania.

38. Hungary. 1 Gregorian Mass for every 3 million faithful plus.

39. Brazil: 1 Gregorian Mass for every 3,547,000 faithful (Campos notwithstanding).

40. Slovakia.

41. Philippines. 4 million faithful per Gregorian Mass

42. Colombia.

43. Portugal.

44. Paraguay.

45. Kenya.

46. Guatemala.

47. México. 1: 12 million plus faithful.

48. Nigeria.

49. Peru. 1 Gregorian Mass on Sundays for a national population of 28 million people.

We have a big task ahead of us!


No one much said...

Every diocese in NZ: Would you please enlighten me as to where it is celebrated in the Palmerston North Diocese? I thought that was just an SSPX stronghold.

Terra said...

'No one much'(!) - I did say the data included SSPX masses.

Joy said...

Are there any approved every-Sunday TLMs in the Diocese of Lismore?

Terra said...

Joy - I'm afraid the answer is no! But you might want to talk to the bishop, because I believe he offers it himself sometimes (he did so at Juventutem recently), and is certainly sympathetic to the cause!

The best list at the moment seems to be on the Oriens website (see the link from the blog), or if you are willing to go sspx, the santa missa site also linked.