Surprise? – TLM attendees go every Sunday

Two per cent approve of contraception

Traditional Latin Mass women have fertility rate of 3.6. (Photo from Regina magazine)

The following comes from a Feb. 27 story in the Catholic Herald (U.K.).

Catholics in the US who attend the traditional Latin Mass a far more faithful to Church teaching than those who attend the Novus Ordo, a survey has found.

A study led by Fr Donald Kloster compared Catholics who attend the traditional Mass (TLM) with the results of previous surveys of Catholics at large, the vast majority of whom attend the Novus Ordo Mass (NOM).

The authors found that 99 per cent of Catholics who attend the TLM fulfil their weekly obligation, compared to just 22 per cent of those who go to the NOM. Ninety-eight per cent also go to Confession at least once a year along with weekly Mass, compared to 25 per cent of NOM attendees.

The survey also found that TLM attendees are far more sympathetic to Church teaching on moral issues. Just two per cent of Catholics who attend the TLM approve of contraception, one per cent approve of abortion, and two per cent support same-sex marriage.

In contrast, previous surveys suggest 89 per cent of NOM attendees approve of contraception, 51 per cent support abortion, and 67 per cent support same-sex marriage.

Fr Kloster said that through more than 20 years celebrating both forms of the Roman Rite, he noticed differences between the congregations. The survey, he said, “reveals a striking variance between Catholics attending the TLM versus those who attend the NOM. These differences are dramatic when comparing beliefs, church attendance, monetary generosity, and fertility rates.”

Women who attend the TLM have a fertility rate of 3.6, compared to 2.3 for NOM women.

“Importantly, TLM families have a nearly 60% larger family size,” Fr Kloster added. “This will translate to a changing demographic within the Church.”

“TLM attendees donate 5 times more in the collection, indicating that they are far more invested than the NOM attendees. TLM Catholics go to Mass every Sunday at 4.5 times the rate of their NOM brethren. This implies a deep commitment to the faith. The almost universal adherence to the Sunday Mass obligation depicts Catholics who are deeply in love with their faith and cannot imagine missing their Sunday privilege.”


  1. Good article! Many Catholic families that attend the more- available Novus Ordo Mass, receive very little catechesis, and very little support for the practice of our Faith and Morals! Plus, there is constant interference of immoral and heretical priests and parish groups, as well as parish schools– to accept terrible evils.

  2. The method used in this study is flawed.

    • It isn’t a study. It’s a survey. Should be taken as such. While the particular “numbers” should be taken with a grain of salt, it really tells nothing new. Catholics that go to Church at least every Sunday hold to Catholic doctrine more predictably than those that don’t. It isn’t the form of the Mass that makes that so.

    • Fr. Kloster says

      The method is flawed? Is that anything like a meteorologist predicting sunshine and then it rains? Is it like a “scientific” poll during an election getting it wrong? The fact of the matter is that surveys are approximations and there are margins of errors. What we cannot hide from are demographics. A 3.6 fertility rate vs. 2.3 is HUGE. Then too, let’s say the survey is 20 points off. Then the TLM Mass attendance is still 79% vs. the Novus Ordo 22%. Any way you slice it, we intuitively know the answer unless we don’t want to know what we don’t want to know.

      • Anonymous says

        I don’t see anything wrong with your method of collecting data from TLM attendees (except for all the usual problems with self-reporting) but you did not collect the data on the “NOM” in the same manner. If you collected the data from the pews of a “NOM” Mass like you did for the TLM Masses you may have gotten much different results than Pew and Cara and the other surveys you are using to compare the data with.
        We do not know that TLM attendees were not included in the Pew, CARA and other surveys. PEW research is done over internet or by mail with a group that they have picked from a larger database.

        • Fr. Kloster says

          @Anonymous I understand what you are saying. The problem is that CARA and Pew are not interested in polling TLM Catholics because the Bishops are not interested and neither is the Catholic press in general. The Study went viral on mostly TLM websites and has received 16,000 hits on alone (even one from Vatican City). It has been published in Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Polish.
          So, I did the Study the only way I could without a huge database and a salary for paid professionals. I called 15 pastors from around the country in key states (most of whom are friends of mine). Only 5 agreed to do the in pew study. My other 11 states came from the online samples (451) which is very much like a phone or mail in sample…

          • Anonymous says

            I think your survey is very valuable. I like that you asked rather than presumed. Thank you for adding more detail to your methodology.
            I am right in assuming that you used TLM only parishes that are part of a US diocese or were some of them SSPX or other non-diocesan parishes?

          • Fr. Kloster says

            The Survey was 1,750+ samples from ICK, FSSP, and other approved Diocesan indult Masses. To my knowledge, there were no SSPX responses. The results from the in pew and online samples were within one percentage point or the same on all 7 questions. The huge demographics difference and the large donation difference should open eyes. The TLM fertility rate should rise to 3.8 or 4.0 in the next generation because many of the women polled used contraception in their youth before they found the TLM. The fertility rate before Vatican II was 3.65.

          • Anonymous says

            Could you post the questions that you asked? If not here, then on the website?
            Maybe we could get our pastors to do the same thing?

      • Anonymous says

        You also have to make sure that you ask the questions in exactly the same manner. And you should have questions that help you weed out the surveys where someone is being dishonest. But, it is not a scientific study and I am glad that you took the time to get information instead of just guessing. Kudos to you for that.

      • Anonymous says

        It is also possible that different NOM parishes and different Masses at the same parish would yield different results.
        Best method-pick several parishes that have a variety of Masses (even various language Masses) and ask the exact same questions in the exact same manner.
        It still has the risk that people who are at Church may want to look good to the pastor or to their neighbors and may fudge their answers.

  3. Anonymous says

    1 out of 100 Catholics who attend the TLM approve of abortion?!? 1 out of 50 approve of gay marriage?

    • Steve Seitz says

      Why is this hard to believe? In a sufficiently large statistical sample size, you’re always going to find outliers.

  4. Anonymous says

    I bet you’ll also find that the percentage of TLM attendees who are Democrats is 0.01%. And the percentage of priests who celebrate the TLM who are Democrats is absolutely zero. Not hard to understand why.

    • The percentage of Catholics who are TLM devotees is relatively small compared to the total number of Catholics in the US. The method used in the survey is flawed for at least two reasons: 1) the use of an on-line survey could be subject to multiple responses from the same individual, 2) the comparison of results to other surveys administered at different points in time is like comparing apples to oranges. Also, the sample is probably not representative of the US population of Catholics.

  5. How is the method used in this study flawed?
    What percentage of Catholics are TLM followers?

  6. Our Pope Benedict XVI gave us back a powerful Mass that even the forces of Evil have not been able to stop. We prosper in the worst imaginable climate.

  7. They also travel further afield.

  8. Danijela says

    It is very simple-Catholics who know their faith and take it seriously are flocking to Traditional Latin Mass out of respect for the Lord and reverence for the Holy Mass. They are more grounded in their faith and live it without compromise. They are more dedicated and willing to sacrifice for it.

  9. St. Christopher says

    The survey shows what is certainly the case (and everyone knows it): there are — at least — two Catholic Churches in the USA. The phrase lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi: As we worship, so we believe, so we live, is key here. Come on, Fellow Catholics, the way we pray, worship, and attend related sacraments and religious ceremonies and offerings is directly related to what we believe and how we manifest such beliefs in our lives. And, of course, you simply cannot hold fast to the NewChurch, knowing that its formation, through the centerpiece Novus Ordo Mass, was intended to soften up Catholic believers so that they would ultimately love the slop provided to them by the Vatican and by Catholic bishops (no, not all). Wake up.

  10. Deacon Craig Anderson says

    Although I don’t attend or serve the TLM, this is about as surprising as rain in Portland. And, while the statistics are not “guaranteed,” I suspect they’re pretty close to reality. Catholics who attend Mass weekly (or more often), even if not the TLM, are more likely to follow the teachings of Christ and His Church. And, that there would be a small percentage of those who attend TLM who dissent from some Church teachings is understandable. I don’t think anyone is questioning people at the door or checking cards. I serve the ancient Byzantine services. Yet, when I recently delivered a strong pro-life homily, one person did walk out. Let us keep reaching out to all with the beauty, truth and goodness of the faith given us by…

    • Great post, Deacon Anderson. All surveys are flawed, and most Traditionalists I knew go great distances to attend the TLM. They also attend the more orthodox and reverent NO Masses or even other rites, often during the week. I am sure they are some times included in the surveys taken at those churches too.

    • By the way, I did not use the term NO (Novus Ordo) derogatorily. Novus Ordo merely means New Order vs Antiquus ordo (Ancient Order). It depends on the context as to how a person is using it.

  11. William Robert says

    It is absolutely shocking that someone would refer to the celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Mass as “slop”. This reflects a failure of catechesis and a gross misunderstanding of the motu propio, Summorum Pontificum, promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict XVI NEVER taught the Extraordinary Form is better than or superior to the Ordinary Form. Also, referring to the Ordinary Form of the Mass as the Novus Ordo Mass is derogatory and disrespectful.

    • Anonymous says

      William Robert– haven’t you noticed– that the Catholic Church has been VERY LAZY and VERY SLOPPY since Vatican II– in teaching the Catechism, and making sure that all her clergy preach and teach the laymen and their children, correctly?? And making sure we have good Catholic schools?? (Not like the immoral, anti-Catholic Jesuit educators, who promote the LGBT agenda, abortion, feminism, Communion for all (Pelosi, Cuomo, etc.) Lots of (funny word!) “SLOP!!” Parishioners of today’s Catholic Church– are not necessarily– Catholic! Many devout, honest Catholic families– go out of their way, due to this problem– to attend the old Latin Mass!

    • Anonymous says

      William Robert– just so you will know– the tern, “Novus Ordo Missae,” means, “New Order of Mass,” in Latin. It is a very good and appropriate term. It is the term used by the Vatican, for the new Vatican II Mass of Pope Paul VI. Not a derogatory term at all.

  12. Anonymous says

    I was truly shocked, on the first day of the Novus Ordo Missae, at our parish. I had been expecting a much more scholarly version of this Mass! At least, a good English vernacular translation, of the 1962 old Latin Mass! Not Abp. Bugnini’s modern, ecumenized liturgy! The eminent Catholic scholar, Dietrich von Hildebrand, made the following remark, regarding the New Mass–“Truly, if one of the devils in C. S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy– he could not have done a better job!” I have always felt likewise! Well– Christ is truly present, in both the Novus Ordo Missae, and the old Latin Mass! Both are good!

  13. Your Fellow Catholic says

    Leaving aside for a moment questions about whether the survey was flawed, is anyone surprised by the findings? I’m not a TLMgoer, but it seems pretty clear to me that TLM attendees are serious about their faith. It’s a self-selecting group, selected by people who have already self-identified as being serious about their faith. The same could probably be said of people who attend a NO mass but go on a retreat once or twice a year. They too are serious about their faith, and I bet they too attend mass every Sunday or more often. What the survey can’t do is provide a cause and effect. It’s not BECAUSE of the TLM that these people go to mass every week. It’s because (I hypothesize) they are serious about their faith that they go to mass…

    • Fr. Kloster says

      Even the best Dioceses in the nation Wichita and Lincoln don’t have 99% weekly attendance. Wichita is 52% and Lincoln is 51%. But Lincoln was 60% back in 2008. They have been bleeding faithful. We have a very liberal parish in Fairfield, CT. The progressives drive there from far and wide; NOM attendees are self selecting as well. Gone are the days of parish boundaries. The side by side studies are national averages. The best of the NOM are not measured against the best of the TLM. It is all NOM as compared to all TLM attendees. If you think the TLM people are serious about their faith, you are correct. It is they who will drive an hour both ways. Most NOM attendees will not weekly roll out of bed to go a few blocks down the…

    • West coast says

      I just have to say that is this the most forthright post I have ever read by you on here. Keep it going, I pray.

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