Friday, November 19, 2010

Lies, damned lies and....

Bishops' Statements. Well at least that's what a certain weekly sometimes sold in Catholic Churches will tell you today. Now don't get me wrong. I've never knowingly bought a copy of it however one page fell across my desk today in what was a savage breach of copyright which will probably see me languishing in chains at Her Majesty's pleasure. For the record on p. 36 you'll find the following headline; 'Bishops deny there is a surge in demand for old-rite Masses'. Fine. I have no doubt whatsoever that they do. However what follows in the article doesn't quite tally with the sub's clever headline.

It turns out to be a matter of statistics- not the actual statistics themselves but what people have said about returns from dioceses to Rome concerning the demand for Traditional Rite Masses. The sampling itself is pretty poor and the responses pretty slippery. Seven diocese provided information for the article out of a possible of twenty four. Sounds like roughly 70% are at least hedging their bets on not incurring the wrath of Khan by going into print on their returns to head office. With the data they managed to collect several very different stories could have been written but somehow I doubt that 'We really don't know' was going to cut it with either the editorial board or whoever planted it. Nor would it be likely to inspire a much needed supply of letters from 'Terminally Liberal' of Metroland (via email). It's a shame because, under the current editorship, things from a literary angle had been improving.

As to the presumption that the demand has not increased I suspect the Latin Mass Society has it's ears much more to the reality of the situation in the trenches. They publish an ever increasing list of Masses available across the country. I suspect that if they added all the 'private' Masses to which members of the faithful are admitted you could add another fifty daily celebrations. These do not fall within the statistics.


  1. With a bit of luck the Bitter Pill will publish a letter from me next week which sheds more light on the matter!

  2. Upon reading this Father, an image came to mind – that of a young child covering her ears and protesting: “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!”


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