Here are two recent quotes from participants on these forums in regards to their thoughts on the level of interest of the laity in assisting at the TLM.
“Those who call themselves traditionalist are a small but vocal group. In most any parish if you ask about going back to the TLM the response is no. Most strongly from those who grew up with that mass and do not want to see it’s return. The Church is allowing the TLM as an alternative for those who do want to use that mass to worship, there is little chance that it will become mainstream.”
"What I hate, what I REALLY hate are the misguided folks that are attempting to reimpose Latin on the Church. Thankfully, they are a very tiny minority, and their influence is miniscule at best. (No I don’t really hate any of you.)
The VAST majority of those advocating a return to Latin were not even alive before Vatican II. They have no memory of a Latin Mass, they just know that it is beautiful (and it is), and can not see that part of its appeal is because it is NOT the norm.
It would be a whole different thing if every Mass, every day, was in Latin again. The vast majority of Catholics in this world would revolt (and rightfully so)."
What both of these Catholics fail to understand is that the laity doesn’t get to decide what Mass will be celebrated. That’s the job of the pope, bishops & priests.
For example, the young diocesan priest at the parish where I go (at times) has introduced a weekly TLM (Wednesday) a monthly (soon to be weekly) TLM to fulfil ones’ Sunday obligation, reception of Holy Communion for all communicants at the altar rail and no more girl altar boys. This at a parish which for 35 years exemplified the ‘spirit of Vatican II’.
I’ve been told by a long time parishoner that some of the laity apparently left the parish for greener pastures because they didn’t like the changes. As a matter of fact, the pastor told me that when he announced that he was going to introduce a weekly TLM, 1/2 of the parishoners left the meeting.
The cathedral is about 2 miles from this parish and it has two newly ordained priests serving there. It is highly unusual to have two newly ordained priests as pastor and parochial vicar of a cathedral but I think it is an example of the direction the bishop wants to take the diocese.
The pastor of the cathedral has also begun to institute similar changes as the pastor of the original parish I cited above. Girl altar boys are being phased out. Monthly TLM. No more face-to-face confession. Rumors are that the bishop will be adding altar rails and moving the tabernacle back to the center of the sanctuary.
Many of those who left the original parish because they didn’t like the changes began going to the cathedral. Unfortunately for them, the pastor there seems to be taking the cathedral in the same direction.
After Mass, I spoke with a diocesan seminarian who served as MC for the Missa Cantata that was celebrated on Ascension Thursday evening. He will be ordained to the priesthood next year. He told me he’s seen a growing interest among seminarians to learn to celebrate the TLM. He said when he first went to the seminary he’d guess that about 1/2 the seminarians were interested in learning to celebrate the TLM. He thinks that’s up to 75-80% now. He said he thought the release of the Summorum Pontificum played a pivitol role in the increased interest among seminarians. This is a seminary that was anything but traditional 25 years ago.
I think Catholics are kidding themselves if they opine that “there is little chance that it (the TLM) will become mainstream.”
Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t agree with this sentiment: