Friday, 8 April 2011

So just how responsive have the English and Welsh Bishops been with regards to Sunday EF Mass provision?

Do have any idea? -  Do you think 20% of parishes in a Diocese offer an EF Mass on a Sunday? Less, maybe? - 15%? - down a bit further possibly? Can this be right?..............

..............after all the Holy Father has done to stipulate how important it is that the Bishops respond to his steer on this vital issue....I can state that, out of 2889 parishes (or thereabouts) only 2.87% on average, offer a Sunday EF Mass.

                                                    2.8% !

And that's not every are the specifics re my piece of research:-

1. I only included parishes that offer a regular Sunday EF Mass whether it is every Sunday or only one during a given month.

2. I included every parish and most Mass Centres but, at times these were difficult to identify so there may be the odd discrepancy but nothing too large as far as I am aware.

3. Obtaining the fairly simple information as to how many parish churches exist within a Diocese proved surprisingly hard to achieve. Some Bishops offer an almost indecipherable jigsaw of shapes which represent parish boundaries or, worse, deaneries, others provide a conventional alphabetical draw down listing and yet others provide a mongrel version which only adds to confusion. I have done the best in the time available.
One Diocese (Portsmouth) had an insoluble problem withits website so, in the end I did an estimated calculation as to number of parishes.

4. I did not include parishes that only offered the Mass on special feasts such as Easter as these appeared to be 'one offs'.

If you would like to see how your Diocese fared, here is the breakdown....



Westminster        216             4                        1.9%

A/del & Br'ton      153             4                        2.6%
Birmingham         271             3                        1.1%

Brentwood           131             2                        1.5%

Cardiff                 81             2                         2.5%

Clifton                54              7                         12.8%

East Anglia        110              3                           2.7%

Hallam               79               0                              0%

H'ham & N'cstle 199              4                            2.0%

Lancaster          115              5                            4.4%
Leeds               127              4                            3.2%

Liverpool          204              4                            2.0%

Menevia            69               3                            4.3%

Mi'ddsborough   93               2                            2.2%

Northampton   107               2                             1.9%

Nottingham     158               5                             3.3%

Pymouth         116               5                             4.3%

P'smouth (est) 144               3                              2.1%

Salford           100               1                              1.0%

Shrewsbury     115               5                              4.4%

Southwark      181                9                              5.0%

Wrexham        66                 0                                 0%

Not an outstandingly good fact it is ****** poor (I am not swearing in Lent).

I think the Bishops are (as they say) "having a laugh", and,
 it's at our expense!


  1. "I think the Bishops are (as they say) "having a laugh""
    Possibly- but have they been showered with requests for Mass in the Extraordinary Form? You seem to imply that they are dragging their heels but that would only be the case if there was a groundswell of demand.

  2. As you can see from the figures the response here in Wrexham is pitiful! The total lack of interest in the EF beggars belief. It is only one of the many reasons we will be glad to see Bishop Regan retire. When exactly he takes that step is unknown, but go he will.
    The chosen few who have His Lordship's ear in the TCC tell me he plans to retire as Bishop and take up the running of a parish. I was not aware that a Bishop could retire and morph into a pp.
    His parish of choice would preferably exist in a predominantly welsh speaking corner of Gwynedd. Where he could happily lead the flock and continue to ignore SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM to his hearts content!
    Wrexham Diocese is far too small for two resident Bishops. Bishop Regan’s presence will be divisive and serve only to undermine the new man. RWJ.

  3. Some years ago, my parish had a wonderful and much loved pp who was a retired bishop, but of another diocese.

    On one Sunday, he stood up to preach and kicked off with words to the effect of: 'I'm fed up with the grief that mothers of young children get from some of you. The sound of a baby crying in church is music to my ears, because it tells me the mother cares enough to bring her child to Mass.' From then on, we referred to the sound of squalling infants as 'the Bishop's music'.

  4. Sorry - that story was off-topic, but I couldn't resist telling it.

  5. Patricius - I cannot accurately answer your question. All I can say is that from my circle of contacts at the traditional end of the faith, all have written to their Bishops.
    Again, I can not speak for the LMS but I am pretty certain that the bulk of their members would have written (not sure how many that is but a goodly number).

    Pattif - good story - I guess the priest was not from Westminster Diocese :)

  6. So what's the deal in Clifton?

  7. Ttony -I think it is providence! A happy coming together of a number of parishes with a traditionally minded priest.
    I do not wish to be unkind but I do not think the Bish has had much to do with it.

  8. Richard - Actually, he was a Westminster priest, but he was a bishop elsewhere, returning to a parish in Westminster following his retirement.

  9. Richard,
    I would think that most Catholics do not have a desire for the EF. At Epsom we have 1700+ attending the 9:30am Mass. I have spoken to people (the best I can) to encourage them to support EF but I have found very little support. I think Patricius may have a good point. I have come to the conclussion that I am the minority!

  10. Paul, of course you are right. But my point is that there is some demand and that, I am sure is more than 2.8% of traditional Catholics asking for the EF Mass. I also believe that the Bishops should not wait for the demand to come, it is their duty to re-introduce the EF Mass so that those who have not experienced it may come (or some of them) to appreciate it. But that may be me in cloud cuckoo land!

  11. Paul, don't you have Fr Witchells at Epsom? Or has he moved on? I know he celebrates the EF Mass.

  12. Two generations of the laity have been brainwashed into believing that the EF is difficult and that they won't understand what's going on. The fear of making a fool of yourself cannot be under-estimated.
    But we also have to be realistic and to recognise that the EF will be a niche interest. For instance, you get thousands at a rock gig but thousands fewer at a classical concert.
    Basically, it's up to a priest to lead his parishioners gradually into the EF, explaining as he goes. But I do have sympathy for those hard-pressed priests, worn out just carrying out their ever-expanding duties because of plummeting vocations and with little support from the Ordinary. I shouldn't think there's much energy left over for extras.
    It's a vicious circle. The way to break it is to allow in traditional orders. But the hierarchy see that as a problem, not a solution. It is they who are the problem.

  13. Genty - yes indeed, I fully agree but we still ought to do better than 2.8%!

  14. Richard, Sadly (for us) Fr Bruno Witchells moved from Epsom to Bexhill.

  15. Yes, we could and should do better and the figures you have wrested from the dioceses (a real Herculean task) are depressing, if not surprising.
    I can do no better to reiterate my last point, which is where I think the real problem lies, than to quote from one of your own posts about a certain bishop-in-waiting who, the moment he was appointed a PP, "threw out the Sunday Solemn Sung Latin Mass in favour of a Phillipino Folk version in Tagalog."
    A solemn sung Latin Mass, where it exists, is the ready-made springboard for the EF. But what happens (in this case) is that a seemingly cultured man has shredded the very culture that should be closest to his heart.
    This has been repeated all over by the wreckers who, even as we speak, are determined that the EF should be utterly expunged.
    Back to the bishops, for it is they who select the willing and blindly ambitious in their own likeness to do precisely that.

  16. "But the hierarchy see that as a problem, not a solution. It is they who are the problem".

    The hierarchy has always been the problem. They dislike change. They are especially adverse to those troublemakers who are later canonised.

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