France and Italy: Three surveys on the liberalization of the Traditional Mass

Source: FSSPX News


The association Paix Liturgique has asked the CSA Institute to conduct a survey on the opinion of French Catholics on the current liturgical debate. The survey was carried out on November 8, 2006 on a sample of 1007 people of whom only 55% called themselves Catholics. The following results take into account the opinions of only those who consider themselves Catholics.

 1)      Do you think it would be desirable that Catholics have the choice of attending the traditional Mass in Latin with Gregorian chant, or the modern Mass in French according to their preference?

Yes: 65%

No: 13%

Don’t care either way: 22%

 2)     If the occasion arose, would you assist at a Mass in Latin with Gregorian chant?

Yes I would: 60 %

No I would not: 39%

Don’t know: 4%

 3)      In your opinion, one Mass in Latin with Gregorian, the other modern in French, would be…?

 A good thing, because it would allow diversity within the Church: 65%

A bad thing, as it would risk creating divisions in the Church: 31%

Don’t know: 4%

 4)     If there were to be a regular celebration of the Mass in its traditional form, in Latin and with the pope’s approval, would you say…

 I would attend regularly…6%

I would attend from time to time…31%

I do not know if I would attend or not…12%

I would attend on rare occasions…29%

I would never attend…22%


On November 10, the website of Le Figaro organized a survey for its readers. In response to the question “Should priests be left free to celebrate the Mass in Latin?”, more than 8,500 online readers said: YES 79% and NO 21%. In the edition of November 13, the journalist Véziane de Vézins made these comments which accompanied Le Figaro readers’ votes: “Any gesture aimed at ‘healing the scar’ of Vatican II is welcome. If Benedict XVI is considering the possibility of widely allowing priests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of St. Pius V – it is that rather than empty churches, Christendom has need of the living force of the faithful of all sensibilities. (…) Yes to Latin, therefore, in the name of reconciliation with the Lefebvrists (sic), is what some are hoping for, having in mind those who, even after the extended hand of John Paul II in 1988, have never forgotten the centuries old liturgy of the Tridentine office.(…) Yes in the name of the misunderstandings, often lamented by our internet readers, between the flock and the episcopate, suspected of ‘anti-Roman complex.’ A purist recalls: ‘Vatican II confirms the exact opposite of some of our good French bishops. French is only an exemption from the common rule .’ Another, radical comment: ‘Declaring oneself a staunch Catholic seems to frighten certain leaders of the Church in France, who seem to be leaning towards a Gallican schism.’ Yes, in the name of the universality of a language common to all Christians of all countries. Yes, in the name of common sense and dialogue.”

 In Italy, the Corriere della Sera, also carried out an online survey to find out if the return of the Mass in Latin was desired. On November 22, 40,022 people participated in the poll, and the result was: 74.4% YES and 25.6% NO.


N.B. Two of these surveys only considered the “Mass in Latin” without specifying the Tridentine Mass, which could have led to vague answers on the part of the people questioned. Nevertheless the comments made by the readers of Le Figaro, showed that some of them were well aware that the Mass in Latin was the Mass predating Vatican II.