Fr. James Martin of the magazine America has been swamped by comments on his piece on the Latin Mass.

But he remains curiously unimpressed by it. So unimpressed in fact that he’s concluded that it’s not the people who really want the Latin Mass but young priests.

One question that remains for me is this: In future years, will more of the impetus for the Latin Mass come from the faithful or from the priests? One of my theories (hard to prove) is that with more seminarians interested in the Latin Mass these days, we may see an increase in Latin Masses as these men are ordained and are assigned to parishes. In other words, those who have predicted that there would not be much of a groundswell for the Latin Mass may be forgetting that much of its rejuvenation may rest with the men currently studying in seminaries, and not yet ordained.

You would guess he judged that only priests want the Latin Mass because his piece was ignored by the people and nobody left a comment. But his piece received 31 comments last I checked. The best line goes to an anonymous poster who wrote “Some wonder if posing this question here is rather like asking for cattle ranchers to raise their hands at a PETA convention.”

Ironically, the only negative comment was from a priest. Msgr. Charles Quinn who wrote, “Only one person in my Parish has expressed any interest. It is a non-issue here.”

The other commenters all expressed interest in the Latin Mass. But I guess it wasn’t enough for Fr. James Martin to show a “groundswell.”

Look, it’s not like the Church is giving away Ipods but let’s compare the number of comments with the other pieces right next to his on the “America” site. Father Jim McDermott, S.J. wrote a piece called “Back to the Future” which received a total of 1comment.

Francis X. Clooney, S.J. authored a piece entitled “Introducing Myself: a Jesuit at Harvard” which received a total of 1 comment. (The comment was actually from Fr. James Martin.)

So as of right now Fr. Martin’s post asking for feedback on the Latin Mass received 31 times what other pieces on his site have received but to him that proves nothing.

The one thing I do share with Fr. Martin on this subject is that we both believe that young seminarians are going to change the Church in years to come.