A friend of mine sent me a link to an interview with Card. Burke published in French by the excellent folks at Paix Liturgique. When His Eminence was asked about the high awareness of Americans about the Traditional Latin Mass – you – we – this blog – received an honorable mention along with a couple others. It is not yet on the English version of their site.
Here’s my English version of that question and answer. If you read French, do go over there and see the rest of the interview.
Paix Liturgique – The survey we commissioned tells us that the number of practicing American Catholics who know about the Motu Proprio [Summorum Pontificum] is over 72%, which is very important.
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke – I would say that in the USA the awareness that there now exist two forms of the rite of Mass is quite high. This is explained by the fact that at the time that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was published in 2007 the document was widely presented and commented on in the press. What is more, there are many Catholic blogs with very large audiences in the United States. I am thinking of Rorate Cœli, Father Z, or OnePeterFive. These quite effective blogs are very favorable toward traditional liturgy, which played a great role in the popularization of the old liturgy even outside the “traditionalist” circles. So, I am not surprised that 72% of practicing [Catholics] know about the existence of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.
Paix Liturgique – Le sondage que nous avons commandité nous indique que le nombre de catholiques américains pratiquants qui connaissent le motu proprio est supérieur à 72 % ce qui est très important
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke – Je dirais qu’aux USA la conscience qu’il existe désormais deux formes du rite de la messe est assez élevée. Cela s’explique par le fait que lors de la publication du motu proprio Summorum Pontificum en 2007 ce document a été très largement présenté et commenté dans la presse. De plus, il existe aux États-Unis de nombreux blogs catholiques à l’audience très importante. Je pense à Rorate Cœli, au Father Z, ou à OnePeterFive. Ces blogs très actifs sont très favorables à la liturgie traditionnelle ce qui a eu une grande importance dans la popularisation de la liturgie ancienne même en dehors des cercles « traditionnalistes ». Dès lors je ne suis pas surpris que 72% des pratiquants connaissent l’existence du motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
It is nice to be mentioned. Thank you, Your Eminence.
However, the true importance of the mention is, because many different sites worked on a common cause, to make our Traditional Roman Rite both known and loved, there is consequently a high awareness that it is – that it can be – available.
Many factors have, over time, helped the growth of the TLM in these USA. One of them is the demographic sink hole opening up under the Church into which the “beige” are plunging rapidly. The committed want something more than “beige” and, therefore, market forces, as it were, are driving the proliferation of the TLM. Couple that with the fact that many younger priests are now being made pastors of parishes. They don’t have the baggage of the previous generation, as it were. Moreover, COVID time allowed a lot of these younger priests both to learn and to celebrate with some frequency the TLM, which led to more and more people experiencing it and, as a result, wanting it available regularly. In one US diocese, in one year, 5 new locations for the Traditional Latin Mass were quietly added.
The blogs mentioned by Card. Burke will continue to play a role in the expansion of the Traditional Roman Rite.
However, we should also begin working to help the integration of the various groups of committed, practicing Catholics who will be left after the demographic sink hole swallows large numbers. These different groups will inevitable, out of necessity, find each other and will have to coexist and be together. There will be some frictions. It’s all going to work out over time, and I am confident that the Traditional Roman Rite will play an increasingly important role in the wider life of the Church, precisely because the congregations are swelling with young and growing families. These are solid, committed and happy Catholics, many of whom did not get all beaten up in the horrible desert years before Summorum and before Ecclesia Dei adflicta. Their solid Catholic living and their joy at being able to participate in Masses that are just Catholic, will be infectious.
We all need to work together to present an increasingly positive and hope-filled horizon.
Times will in many ways be pretty tough, but these are the times into which God called us all according to His plan. We are His team, right now. If we work hard, and stick close to the sacraments, and remain faithful, and perform works of mercy with zeal and joy, many will be attracted to that which we have. People recognize what works. What we have works. And we can improve it, too. We can improve newcomers’ experience.
I’ll stop now. You get it.