The Clerical Whispers blog entitles its most recent entry about the Pope's visit is misleadingly, "Just a fraction of catholics wants a Traditional Latin Mass." The mistaken view is supplemented by some suspiciously unannotated and unscientific "data:"
But the Archdiocese of Glasgow says there is little appetite for traditional Tridentine mass in Latin among worshippers, with only 0.05% in favour.
Some statements by a few liberal geezers of the clerical type:
Father Tom Boyle, treasurer of the Archdiocese of Paisley, said: “There has never been a great demand for it as far as I am aware.
“Unlike other parts of the world, the church in Scotland has never been polarised on this.”
Canon Donald MacKay, of St Columba’s Cathedral in Oban, said there was more support for a Gaelic mass than a Latin mass among parishioners.
Canon Edward Glackin, of the Diocese of Motherwell, said he conducted one weekday Latin mass, which had an attendance of 25 to 30, compared to the 1000 who attend mass on Sunday.
On the other hand, James MacMillan was concerned about the issue, and too mildly proceeded in defense of the Mass, saying:
“The low numbers mentioned by the Archdiocese would indicate that they don’t know what the issues are.
“They don’t know what they are missing or what the higher standards of liturgy can be. It would be a shame if Scottish Catholics were denied it through a basic disobedience of The Vatican.”
He said Latin mass had the ability to reduce the “slovenliness and banality” found in some services, stressing the issue was not a division between Latin or new mass, but the need to “make liturgy better”.
But there were other voices, indeed another view brought out by the Scotland Herald, whose article entitled, "Depth of Rift amongst Catholics over church worship", stands in stark contrast to the article by Clerical Whispers. The Scotland Herald article itself challenged the erroneous view of the Scottish Bishops on the matter of whether or not there's much demand for the Traditional Mass, or whether or not they are enthused about anything, much less the upcoming Papal visit. It dutifully cites Damian Thompson's critique of the Scottish Bishops, which was challenged by the spokesman of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, whose view was ultimately, and finally challenged by Patricia McKreever, the authoress of the Catholic Truth blog. The exchange and the contrast between the renditions of the issue points to a unfolding development of greater control of information on the part of conservative (or Traditionalist) laity and control of the perceptions and who controls them. Once again, we're seeing that the new medium of the internet is making it difficult for episcopal liberals to control how they're perceived, and more importantly, it is increasingly difficult for them to distort the facts for their agendas, in this case, ignoring Vatican commands as far as the Immemorial Mass and Summorum Pontificum is concerned.
According to Damian Thompson, a commentator on the UK Catholic Church, many Scottish bishops were close to retirement and set in their ways, with some preferring that the Pope did not come to Scotland.
But Ronnie Convery, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow, describes such claims as imaginative and uninformed.
In a separate letter to The Herald, he writes it was “spectacularly wide of the mark” to state that Scottish bishops did not want the Papal visit “because they are too old and can’t be bothered; too trendy and can’t cope with the Pope’s liturgical preferences or too sensitive and don’t want to upset the ecumenical or interfaith applecart”.
However, Patricia McKeever, editor of The Catholic Truth, claims apathy amongst Catholic bishops extends beyond the visit. She writes: “What informed, orthodox Catholics want now is a complete clear-out of the Episcopal palaces because the current crop are apathetic about a great deal more than just the Pope’s forthcoming visit to Scotland.
“The Scots bishops, without exception, ignore important directives from the Vatican. The Scottish bishops operate independently of Rome. We will continue to press for that Episcopal clear-out, before, during and after the Papal visit.”