Reports of the Death of the TLM Have Been (Like Mark Twain’s Death Before He Actually Died) Greatly Exaggerated
I’ve followed this issue closely:
Catholics (?) Trash, Judge, & Mind-Read the Pope (In 1968, “all” the liberal Catholics rejected Humanae Vitae. Now in 2021, “all” the self-described “conservative” Catholics reject Traditionis Custodes — and none see the outright absurdity and irony of this) [7-20-21]
The last two papers were devoted to seeing how many dioceses actually shut down or limited the TLN [Traditional Latin Mass / Tridentine Mass / “extraordinary form”].
There is a website that helps us keep track of these things. We now know of data from 243 dioceses around the world, though there are 3,160 Catholic ecclesiastical jurisdictions worldwide. This means that we only have “results” from 7.7% of the world’s dioceses and other jurisdictions. 92.3% of them have (presumably) not issued statements on this question. In light of that, the figures are (so far) even more overwhelmingly in favor of the status quo (in terms of actual numbers thus far of TLM shutdowns) since Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum in 2007: allowing far more latitude for the Old Mass to be celebrated.
The current figures show the TLMs being totally suppressed in 25 dioceses. That’s a whopping 0.8% of the world’s Catholic jurisdictions (one out of every 126) or 0.87% of the world’s 2881 dioceses and archdioceses (one of every 115). Moreover, seven of those (for who knows what reason) are from the tiny nation of Costa Rica, with a population of 5.094 million in 2020 (a number between the 2021 populations of Alabama and South Carolina). If we look at known world figures, minus Costa Rica, which accounts for 28% of all total closures of the TLM, the figures become 0.57% (18 out of 3,153 jurisdictions) or 0.63% (18 out of 2874 dioceses).
That’s the sky falling down? Now, granted, we only have reports yay or nay from 7.7% of all jurisdictions and 7.9% of all dioceses, but according to the science of polling, this is not insignificant, and gives a good indication of the way things will proceed going forward. The present figures also show that in 36 dioceses, “some” TLMs are suppressed. That is 1.14% of all jurisdictions and 0.12% of all dioceses. Thus, the total tallies are:
25 total closures out of 3,160 Catholic jurisdictions (0.8% or 1 of every 126)
25 total closures out of 2881 dioceses and archdioceses (0.87% or 1 of every 115)
36 partial suppressions or “regulation” out of 3,160 Catholic jurisdictions (1.14% or 1 of every 88)
36 partial suppressions or “regulation” out of 2881 dioceses and archdioceses (1.25% or 1 of every 80)
Grand total (prohibition + suppression):
61 cases out of 3,160 Catholic jurisdictions (1.9% or 1 of every 52)
61 cases out of 2881 dioceses and archdioceses (2.1% or 1 of every 47)
Therefore, as of current statistics, 98.1% of jurisdictions 97.9% of dioceses have no reports of any regulation whatsoever of the TLM.
Restriction to Known Cases (where regions have decided yay or nay or “some”):
25 total closures out of 243 dioceses and archdioceses (10.3% or 1 of every 9.7)
36 partial suppressions or “regulation” out of 243 dioceses and archdioceses (14.8% or 1 of every 6.8)
61 cases of total + partial suppression out of 243 dioceses and archdioceses (25% or 1 of every 4)
Therefore, in the 243 known cases, 75% of dioceses have no regulation whatsoever (no change) and 85.2% are allowing TLMs either fully or with regulation (some shut down)
And so I ask again: how is that the sky falling down and/or some supposed wicked, pope-led conspiracy to totally suppress the TLM (as was so confidently and gloomingly proclaimed last July)? So far it clearly is not either thing. But the hysterical and tin foil hat factions will likely hold on to their cynical view that a year’s time will prove their suspicions to have been accurate. We’ll see, won’t we?! Time will tell. Proof’s in the pudding. So far, the sky is still very much with us.
And I’ll be watching; wearing my “religious sociologist” hat.
Photo credit: Despair (1894), by Edvard Munch (1863-1944) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
Summary: Statistics show that Catholics still have a mostly free availability of the TLM. Traditionis Custodes, contrary to dire & apocalyptic predictions, hasn’t changed that.