I received this comment on another post:
Most young people I know, family members, their friends, co-workers, if they were baptized as Catholics and raised as Catholics, have left the Church. It is not part of their lives and when it comes to moral teachings, they have made up their minds long ago on particular issues and the "teaching of the Church" does not play into it. Like most people who have responded, I know young Catholics, individuals and families, who go to the Traditional Mass, but they are in the minority.
And this comment just came in on another post but is pertinent to this one:
Most Catholics, old or young, are not obsessed with interior church design, which direction the priest is facing, debating church music or art, intramural church politics, English vs. Latin, etc. Amazing but true: This discussion group of elderly Catholic white men in no way represents the laity as a whole. Young people, especially, are concerned about how Church policies affect them, their families, their friends and their real life in the real world. They often care more about doing good in the world rather than making a full-time vocation of condemning “bad” )meaning different) in the world. If they feel that the Church has essentially written them and their concerns off, then traditionalism is a tough, tough sell. The Church is in the same difficult situation as many corporations and institutions. “Because I said so,” and “Because that s the way it was 100 years ago” doesn’t really work as moral suasion or a practical argument. That just the way it is.
It depends on what part of the country or the world one is, but we know that participation at Mass and those who no longer see themselves as practicing the faith with no intention in the immediate future of returning have left for a variety of reasons. In some places maybe 12% of Catholics attend Mass on Sunday. I think in our diocese, pre-pandemic it would have been 30% or slightly lower.
The secular culture has been their primary formation in terms of worldview and morality. And the morality they profess is one of love but not in the traditional sense. It is a love that respects individual choices especially in the area of sexuality, abortion, marriage, no marriage, monogamy or no monogamy.
The transcendent for the most part is kept out of the picture. Truth is one's own version of that.
Catholics young people who stay may want a more contemplative, tell me how to live approach to Catholicism with social gatherings a part of it but not high on the list of priorities.
Time will tell what toll this will take on these individuals and society in general who have become nones and rely purely upon their own truth.
Given the fact that we are writing off those who have left the practice of the Catholic Faith, how do we keep those who are coming and may be looking for something counter-cultural or something deeper and transcendent?
In my diocese, the EF Mass attracts a small number of Catholics when compared with the number of Catholics in our diocese who actually attend Mass. I don't think that is a realistic venture to think the EF Mass alone will keep young Catholics.
Many parishes have worship and praise music at their Masses. I have no idea how music keeps or repels younger Catholics. I know that music in the Mass in general is a point of contention for many people.
Good preaching can keep some. But good preaching that is counter cultural today, what is called prophetic, also turns many people off especially in the area of sexual morality.
What to do? What to do? Oh, what is a pastor and a bishop to do?