Love is the answer?
Youth leave the Church because they have not encountered Christ and His love. Period. That’s the answer. Being Christian entails the passionate desire to be with God forever. That’s what the Christian desires more than anything else. God. To be with the One that loves you more than any other. - Taylor MarshallI agree, youth leave the Church because they haven't encountered Christ and his love, but even more seriously, they haven't been taught the fundamentals of the Catholic faith, they haven't received authentic Roman Catholic religious education - for the last 50 years since Vatican II. Neither were their teachers properly educated or catechized.
How many school sisters and brothers abandoned and rejected their vocations as religious educators, or sold out their academic institutions to secular humanism and New Age Theosophy? How many Catholic parents received faulty educations in Catholic institutions, or whose lifestyles do not conform to Catholic teaching and practice? How many Catholic parents have never encountered Christ and his love? How many Catholic educators have never encountered Christ and his love? How could they if they do not have the faith, if they do not believe what the Church teaches?
I recall how in the '80's a seminarian told me that he was dating - it was encouraged at the time to help discern a call to celibacy. He mentioned one Sunday he went to her Assembly of God church instead of going to Mass - I questioned it - he laughed and said I didn't understand the new ecclesiology. He dropped out of seminary and married - although he did become a deacon later on.
Similarly, many kids I've met over the years - my University of St. Thomas educated niece included - explained that one doesn't need to attend Mass on Sunday if they do a good work instead, visit someone in a nursing home, take a homeless person shopping at the Mall, and so on. They also don't have to go to confession unless they commit a mortal sin, which they insist is nearly impossible to do, BTW.
The recent resignations, terminations of Catholic school teachers who come out as gay or transgendered, or simply support doctrines in opposition to Catholic teaching surely suggests that there has been something wrong with Catholic education for a really, really long time.
And yet, people keep asking: "Why are Catholic youth leaving the Church?"
I think the reason is obvious. It is because the faith has been made meaningless to Catholic youth. Catholic educators have failed - or, in some twisted way, succeeded in convincing their students the Church is out of date, out of step with the culture, and that the bishops are dead wrong about faith and morals and their efforts to help the faithful rediscover Catholicism. A great many of our Catholic youth, young adults, 30-40 year olds, were never taught the basics.