You’d think that there is a better use of time, but…
What’s happened to the next generation, you ask? Well, to Fr. Reese’s sorrow, they’re off attending the Traditional Latin Mass, just as if Vatican II never happened. Or if not all of them, enough to cause Fr. Reese to beg the Vatican: do something! “The church needs to be clear that it wants the unreformed liturgy to disappear and will only allow it out of pastoral kindness to older people who do not understand the need for change,” he writes. “Children and young people should not be allowed to attend such Masses.”
It’s worth noting that one of the restrictions the Chinese Communist Party puts on Christian churches is that children and young people is prohibit them from going to church.
I think it’s sad that supposedly “tolerant” and “liberal” people think this way, but as we all know it’s common. This is especially true in Roman Catholicism where no one gets to vote for their pastor, or bishop, or much of anything past Susan of the Parish Council. So there’s no danger that these terrified people will take over the church and cast the Novus Ordo Missae into the Outer Void.
A large part of the problem here–as is the case with most things in American Catholicism–is the parish system. Catholic parishes are in theory like public schools, with zones and enforced non-competition between them. Occasionally a Byzantine Rite or Anglican Ordinariate parish (like a magnet school) will emerge, but they’re outliers in the general scheme of things. Although some of this goes back to the way the Church in this country was organised, much of it comes from the same wellspring of the public schools: the desire for uniformity and non-competition amongst parishes, which makes it easier for those who lord over them to manage things. The result is mediocrity, and the Church has the parishioner bleed to show it.
Roman Catholicism is large enough to handle the diversity that would result from some parishes being TLM. (The Charismatic Renewal wouldn’t have needed covenant communities if this option had been available.) But real diversity, in the Church and elsewhere, is hard to find these days.