Orthodoxy and the Latin Mass

Orthodoxy and the Latin Mass
Musa Al Shaer/Pool Photo via AP

The Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) seems to be gaining popularity. From academia to the commentariat, both the Catholic press and the secular media have noticed that younger Catholics around the world are turning to tradition, and they, not people with living memories before 1970, dominate the pews. Some hope and others despair at this trend, and the debates over liturgy reveal deep cleavages in the Catholic Church.

Unfortunately, little data exists on TLM attendees. Attempting to rectify this problem, Fr. Donald Kloster of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Norwalk, Connecticut, recently released the results of a "national survey" of TLM attendees in the United States—first reported in a blog post and then in outlets such as Catholic Herald. Fr. Kloster concluded that the "fruit" of the TLM is Catholics who are far more devout and orthodox than those who attend the Novus Ordo Mass. However, this study suffers from several fatal flaws, and thus leaves us no closer to better understanding TLM attendees.

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