Patronising youth, even if by the Pope, is still patronising

Guest post: Patronising youth, even if by the Pope, is still patronising

A guest post by Irenaeus, a 23 year old reader of Vox and more than slightly put off by the patronising of young Catholics as the new Synod soon comes upon us.

Posted by Vox Cantoris at Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Birds, Bees, Youth, Youth Masses and Yutes

by Irenaeus

When I was in elementary school about ten years ago, sex ed was taught throughout Grades 6 to 8 in the Catholic Ontario school system, during puberty, at precisely the time we needed it. When we weren’t watching informative videos on the reproductive systems or labeling diagrams of said reproductive systems, we were given relative freedom to ask our burning questions about fertilization and the like. Never once did I ask – or hear anyone else do the same – when women and men should have their first child.

Until now.

In preparation for the much-hyped 2018 Synod on the Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment, Il Vaticano has aggressively pushed for youth aged 16 to 29 to complete a survey which promises to “provide [them] with the opportunity to communicate, express and recount who you are and what you want to say about yourself.” It’s being lauded on social media as the best thing to happen to Catholic youth since sliced bread.

Newsflash: it’s not. And it’s time to stop treating youth like they need special treatment.

In addition to the odd question I mentioned above, the survey asks youth to rank characteristics they feel they consider themselves to possess on a 1-5 rating. Or rank their satisfaction with certain institutions. Indicate their sentiments about the working world. Explain why they live with their parents. Why they are unable to have children. If they involve themselves in society through “movements of some type.” If they are Catholic, and how often they participate in “religious services.” Use certain words to describe God. Describe their view of Jesus. Rank only three things (out of nine!) which they consider to be “of particular urgency for the Catholic Church today.” Describe their habits on “the social network” and view of its importance. You get the picture.

I have a couple questions of my own for the people who put this together, and make it look like it came out of Angus Reid. Who cares? Why is there such a willing desire to dumb things down and appeal to more than Catholic youth? Why do the youth deserve an entire synod devoted just to them?

I’ll tell you why: it’s because the youth have been indoctrinated to think they are special in the Catholic Church and will somehow become its saviours.

Hear me, fellow youth: You’re not. And we already have a Savior. His name is Jesus Christ, Supreme Creator and King of the Universe.

Take it from me. I’m in my early twenties – fitting the demographic range targeted for the survey – and I spend regular time with people who are at least ten years my senior who aren’t my parents. On a weekly basis. We talk about serious matters affecting the Church, and discussions are passionate. I’m spoken to as though I am older than I actually am. Things aren’t watered down for me because I’m younger. I’m given the straight up truth and I regularly peruse other materials to bolster my knowledge. In short, I am taken seriously.
Unlike the survey, which slathers on a veneer of respect in order to coerce youth to agree with its modernist, progressive, Novus Ordo-based ideology.

What deceit. What duplicity. Like those youth Masses which are all the rage. With its guitars. Pop-based music. Priests who step out of the sanctuary in order to connect more with the youth, with horrible, simpering sermons to boot. Along with a host of other abuses I’m not going to mention. The youth may come out, but how many actually stick with Catholicism past high school? Regularly attend Mass once they move away from home? Not become apostates? Or otherwise succumb to destructive ideologies currently running rampant on post-secondary campuses? Though there are some, it’s not as many as the droves of youth who come to your Saturday youth Masses, pastors and youth ministers.

As a youth, I stopped attending those Masses long ago. They are disrespectful to our Lord. They are also disrespectful to the youth, who come there looking for something solid and immutable when their lives are in a swirl of change. They don’t get that in Masses that blatantly ignore the reason we have a Mass in the first place. They don’t get that by being taught watered-down, Protestantized Catholic tenets, which ill-equips them for the real world, which is so anti-Catholic. They don’t get that in youth groups, where they are basically forced to agree with what everyone else is saying, even if they personally don’t. Quite simply, they don’t carry on the faith as they should when they receive “primacy of place” in a place where they shouldn’t. Back when I was a Novus Ordo Catholic, I was involved in these things, and it sickens me I used to think youth were the saviours of the Church.

Pastors and youth ministers, are you willing to take me up on a challenge?

Abolish youth ministry. Get rid of Lifeteen. EDGE. The horrible Alpha program. Pluck the youth Masses out of the Mass schedules. Disband the youth bands. Trash all the terrible, modernist music. Like a particular Jesuit who appears on this blog, you’re losing more souls than you’re saving. In the vacuum that results, have the Mass of the Ages – the Tridentine Latin Mass – and nothing else. Restore Gregorian Chant. Polyphony. Institute a rigid catechesis program. Teach yourself the many abuses of the Mass – anything that diminishes the sacred – and eradicate them.

It won’t be immediate. Or easy. But the return will be more than you’re getting now. Believe me. I’ve seen more return after almost a year of attending the TLM than almost four years of attending the Novus Ordo.

If we simply stopped putting youth on a pedestal, we wouldn’t need to deal with simpering surveys like the one put out by the Vatican. Or deal with priests that give lip service while ill-equipping their charges to face an anti-Catholic world. We need youth to become true Catholics who will carry on the faith after they stop being children. We need adults firm in their faith.

In the meantime, let’s stop using the word youth and replace it with the word ‘yutes.’ It’s what the survey wants us to do, anyway.

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