Paul Inwood,the (lay) Director of Liturgy for the Diocese of Portsmouth, and not someone especially keen on the Traditional Mass, has admitted on an on-line discussion forum that The Tablet article I recently posted about was wrong about how the number of churches offering the Usus Antiquior in his diocese. They said it hadn't increased since Summorum Pontificum, but (he says) it has.
Unless The Tablet is deliberately misreporting, they clearly weren't talking to anyone with access to the facts. As I remarked in my letter to The Tablet (in a passage they chose not to print) the responses they had from dioceses were off-the-cuff remarks, and hardly a proper basis for contradicting the detailed facts and figures anyone can download from the Latin Mass Society Mass Listings.
Here is Paul Inwood's post:
#9 by Paul Inwood on December 6, 2010 - 4:11 pm
In my diocese (mentioned in the Tablet reportage but with a lower number of churches than is actually currently providing the EF), we already had a fairly generous provision of EF Masses before SP. Now we have more of them, but it is the same 30 or so people who are simply travelling round to more places to attend (apart from those on the Isle of Wight). There is no discernible increase in numbers. More Masses, same tiny uptake. I wonder how many other diocese mirror this?
Notice he says that it is 'the same 30 people' as before the Motu Proprio, spreading themselves more thinly across more churches in the diocese. As Director of Liturgy he may know how
many churches have the TLM, but he has clearly never been to the FSSP Mass in Reading.
Five years ago about 40 people used to go to these Masses. Since then a lot has happened, including the Motu Proprio, and the number has more than doubled. On a good day we have 100 people; numbers never dip below 60.
This is at the same time as other churches have started to offer the Mass. Plus people in the northern part of the diocese can easily pop over the diocesan boundary to Oxford, where numbers have also doubled since the Motu Proprio. Plus there is an important centre for the SSPX down the road in Newbury.
So how many people regularly attend the Traditional Mass in or from the Portsmouth Diocese? It's a lot more than 30, Mr Inwood!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Now I'm back at my desk I can add this photo to the post
I can count 60 lay heads in this photograph. You can't see the back row, of course, or the people in the choir loft (there were six singers and a bunch of small children); more importantly through the opening on the right there is a sort of annex where between 20 and forty people usually sit. This photo was taken in October 2010.
Happy now, Mr Inwood?