Demographics of the Extraordinary Form (an Una Voce Int’l report)

We are pleased to pass along Dr. Joseph Shaw’s article in Homiletic and Pastoral Review on the Demographics of the Extraordinary Form, summarizing Una Voce International’s 2020 report on Latin Mass communities in 362 dioceses and 52 countries around the world.

The Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV, or Una Voce International) recently submitted to the Holy See a report on the availability of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite around the world (hereafter, “the FIUV Report”), in the preparation of which I, as Secretary of the FIUV, was closely involved. This included data from 362 dioceses and 52 countries, and gives a rare overview of the situation, not just in Europe and America, but across the world. Much of the information was of a qualitative rather than quantitative nature (for example, detailing the policies of dioceses towards the EF), aspects of it are amenable to statistical summary and presentation. The full report is not public, but in this paper I wish to set out some data drawn from it to help illuminate the question of the demographics of those who attend the EF.

These data support the often-heard characterization of the EF as having a particular attraction for young people and families. I shall further draw on the Report and other sources to show that EF congregations generally have a more balanced sex ratio than those of the Ordinary Form, and to reveal the capacity of the EF to engage diverse ethnic and linguistic groups.

A great deal more information from the report can be found on Una Voce’s website and in its Winter newsletter.

January 15, 2021