The purpose of this blog is to provide an open forum for discussion of the aims of the society; news from the wider Church and details of Masses and events of interest in the diocese. The Latin Mass Society in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough expresses its full filial devotion and loyalty to Holy Mother Church, Pope Francis and Bishop Drainey.


12 Noon. Every Sunday Missa Cantata
Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

Feast Days (as advertised) usually at 6pm.

5pm. 1st Saturdays. Low Mass.
St Mary's Church, Bishophill Junior, York. YO1 6EN

Other Masses as advertised, usually at 6.30pm.


4pm. Every Sunday
Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

Vespers & Compline as advertised (see link to the Rudgate Singers Calendar below) at St Mary's Church, Bishophill Junior. YO1 6EN

15 January 2018

Diocese of Arlington, Virginia

I keep a fairly close watch on any news coming out of America concerning the provision of Latin Masses.  My reason for doing this is that I believe that the United States is generally ahead of England and Wales in these matters.  In other words, by studying what is happening in the US today, we can get a glimpse of what we can expect in Britain in five or ten years.

In the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, there are now 15 parishes out of a total of 70 where Mass in the Extraordinary Form (the Americans call it the TLM)  is part of the regular schedule.  That is more than one parish in five.  This is particularly remarkable when it is realised that in 2006, the diocese had no regular Latin Masses at all.  By comparison the Archdiocese of Birmingham is probably our best performer in England and Wales.  It also has 15 parishes with regular Latin Masses, but this is out of a total of 236 parishes.  That is roughly one parish in fifteen.  So it could be said that provision in the Diocese of Arlington is about three times better than it is in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

It would take a long time to make the same comparison between all the parishes of the United States, and all the parishes of England and Wales,  but I suspect that roughly the same ratio would emerge.  That is that opportunities to attend a Latin Mass are about three times as great in the USA as they are in England & Wales.

But what of the future?  I believe that the bishops of England and Wales will become increasingly well disposed towards Latin Masses, as will the clergy generally.  Against this, the shortage of diocesan priests will make it increasingly difficult for bishops to make Latin Mass provision. So progress will be slow, but nevertheless I believe that the trend will be in the direction as the American experience.


Anonymous said...

I agree that the States are better catered for with regards to the Old Rite but a few other things need to be considered.

Demand - I think that the bigger numbers in the US probably exert more influence on the episcopate than we could ever achieve here. That leads me to the second point ...

Apathy and Attrition - I am not informed on the ratio of Mass attendance versus number of Catholics in the US, but I think we can agree that it is very poor here. Would this weaken the demand? I think so, less going to mainstream Novus Ordo masses would tend to make me think less voices to call for more Latin Masses. Also, the Traditional community alone are simply not loud enough to demand more provision.

The make up of the episcopate - although there have been very good appointments made, there are a number of bishops who simply don't support us. This will hopefully change as time progresses.

Comparable size of diocese between US and England and Wales - It only takes one good US bishop in a large diocese to show sympathy and bingo, a growth in Traditional Mass provision!

Et Expecto said...

The above anonymous comment makes some valid points. My impression is that the bishops of England and Wales differ from those in the USA in that they are more inclined to follow "the party line" set out by Bishops' Conference than their American counterparts. In other words there is more diversity in the behaviour of American bishops than there is here. I know there are some exceptions, with a few English bishops being supportive of Latin Masses, but in the States, there are several dioceses, such as Arlington, where Latin Mass provision far exceeds anything over here.

Another factor is the decline in the number of priests being faster in E & W, which does restrict what the English bishops can do.

Anonymous said...

Having checcked the Artlington Website, there are 250 priests covering 69 parishes, serving 464,861 'registered' Catholics.

I'm certain many an English (and certainly a Welsh) Bishop would dearly love 250 priests to cover 69 parishes!

I agree with Et Expecto on the matter of towing the line with the respective Bishops Conferences