US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Latin Mass? Ho-hum, majority of Catholics say

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Saw this yesterday, but USC contributor J. Peter NIxon, who wrote our August feature on the coming changes to Sunday Mass (which drew a robust 71 comments), brought it to my attention again this morning, and it's worthy of note. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate released a study yesterday noting that a solid majority of U.S. Catholics (63 percent) have no opinion about Pope Benedict's expansion of the Latin (Tridentine) liturgy. And, contrary to popular perception, the group with the least amount of interest in the Latin Mass is younger Catholics, with only 16 percent of those born after 1982 supporting its return.

Overall, only 25 percent of respondents favor the wider permission; that's down from 40 percent in 1985. Those opposing it dropped to a mere 12 percent from 35 in 1985. In other words it looks like the big battle over the liturgy initiated after Vatican II is over--with 63 percent opting out. Smaller and smaller percentages are actually interested.

I'm sure there are a lot of ways of reading this date--and you can read the whole study here--but I think one thing is clear: There is no great groundswell for a liturgical return to the past. Most Catholics have moved on, despite all the heat generated by our August Sounding Board about the return of the old liturgy.