The mainstream Catholic Church is failing, and will continue to fail more dramatically in the years ahead. Dioceses will downsize, parishes will close and be merged. It’s all part of the managed-decline of the Boomer Bishops who are still trying to impose a 1970s mindset on the Church.
Where are the youth? How do we reach the youth? The Boomer answer is to Evangelical-Protestantize the Mass, with more drums and guitars, liturgical dancing, balloons, and yes, even puppets! This has all proved to fail in the past, but when something doesn’t work, just do more!
If the clergy truly want to bring back the youth, this is how it’s done. Start using Gregorian chant for music, dim the lights, use lots of candles, incense and bells. Turn the priest to face ad orientem, and install an altar rail, encouraging people to kneel for communion. Preach orthodox Catholicism from the pulpit that radically counters what these kids are being taught in school, on television and the Internet.
THAT is how you get the youth back, and until priests start doing this, those parishes are going to keep emptying out for years to come.