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Demography of the Old Mass "Una Voce", the International Federation of Catholic Old Rite lay organisations, produced a 2020 worldwide study on the Old Mass. On 14 January, the Homiletic and …More
Demography of the Old Mass

"Una Voce", the International Federation of Catholic Old Rite lay organisations, produced a 2020 worldwide study on the Old Mass. On 14 January, the Homiletic and Pastoral Review published its results, some of which had already been communicated to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The data came from 362 dioceses and 52 countries. The study considered the vast majority of all existing Old Rite Mass locations worldwide. Joseph Shaw, the Una Voce secretary, observed that the great and worldwide interest of young people and young families in the Old Mass is statistically proven.

More than half of Old Rite congregations "predominantly young"

The percentage of Old Rite congregations dominated by young people and families is 72% in North America, 69% in Central Europe, 62% in South America, 60% in Asia, 57% in Oceania, 55% in North Eastern Europe, 31% in Southern Europe and 18% in Africa. Africa is the least studied are, with no data available from 42% of dioceses.

Why are there almost only old women in the New Mass?

While the New Mass is predominantly attended by elderly women, the gender ratio in the Old Mass is balanced. In England, the ratio of women to men in the New Rite is 2 to 1, whereas in the Old Mass the proportion of men is between 50 and 70%, with an average of 55%. Shaw points out that men often attend the New Mass because of their wives and out of a sense of duty to their children, whereas in the Old Mass they are the driving force.

Conscious choice for the Old Rite

The number of families attending the Old Mass 20 years ago cannot explain the large number of young people practising in the Old Rite today. Most young people who attend the Old Rite only got to know it as adults. Among them are also former Novus Ordo Catholics who stopped practicing but later found their way back to the Church via the Old Rite.

The Council generation has broken away

Shaw mentions a Roman mother reporting that only at Old Mass had she not been confronted with negative comments from the older generation about the behaviour of their young children. A correspondent from Chile said that in his country mainly older women and younger men attended the Traditional Latin Mass. The middle-aged generation was completely absent.
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Trends in Weekly Church Attendance

Catholic Church Attendance by Age
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