Excellent post Dr Shaw.
The demographics are our most important and powerful resource.
At New Rite events, such as Youth 2000, the female to male ratio is very high.
At Old Rite events, such as the YCA retreat, conversely, the female to male ratio tends to be very low.
Much has been said about the “femininity” of the Novus Ordo, as opposed to the “masculinity” of the Vetus Ordo. I don’t think that the stereotyping of male and female spiritualities should be omitted in your deliberations, rather to remind people that the constant teaching of the Church has been that male and female are different. Female being at their core more nurturing (read touchy-feely or emotional and tangible). It is natural that they find satiation in the New Rite youth events.
As you and T-C pointed out, the problem is a massive lack of Catechesis coming from the people in positions of power – the PP, the Bishop, the Pope etc.
How often do you hear from the pulpit that “we should strive to remember that the Fathers of the Church have always pointed out that the emotional is juvenile and immature, and that spiritual growth is away from the emotional and tangible, through the intellectual, to the mystical and intangible.”?
My experience of young women at Traditional youth events (as compared to those attending New Rite youth events), is that they tend to be much more “mature” in their faith and as people.
While my experience of young men at vaguely-Charismatic youth events (in comparison to their Traditional counterparts), is that they are much more immature in their faith and as people, and that their motivation for being at such events, in truth, has much more to do with the young women that are there, rather than getting to know, love and serve God more.
No youth event is entirely free from that motive, of course, but it seems remarkably more apparent at New Rite youth events.
But to conclude, I would add to T-C’s and your remarks, that the solution to the problem is Authority, Bishops attending Traditional youth events and instructing their Dioceses to support and encourage young people to attend them. Bishops to start diocesan-wide catechesis based on Traditional Patrimony rather than the newer touchy-feely washed-down stuff.
Bishops? Bishop, one Bishop, to start with. Someone willing to stand up against the status quo, put his head above the parapet, someone like Bishop Athanasius Schneider.
There is much more that I would like to write on this subject. I have been to a lot of youth events. Youth 2000, pilgrimages, World Youth Days, traditional youth events and on. I have a lot of experience in this area.
One area however, that I do not have experience in, is SSPX youth events. I have on occasion witnessed SSPX youth at prayer vigils in London. But I have never had the need to attend an event associated with the SSPX.
Now why do I bring up the Priestly Society of Pope Saint Pius X? Well, my belief is that our fundamental position as Traditional Catholics (and here also read Traditional Catholic youth), is completely subverted, compromised and perpetually eroded, by the absence of visible magisterial authority supporting it.
The Priestly Society of Pope Saint Pius X have Bishops, who have teaching authority par excellance. The Institute of Christ the King or the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter have fantastic preaching, but they are completely underminded by the Bishops whose Dioceses they reside within.
Within the Priestly Society of Pope Saint Pius X (I assume), the youth will all be instructed to attend Traditional youth events, where a level of decorum and morals will be held, which is probably unparalleled even within the Traditional circles of YCA or Juventutem, no matter how much the Traditional Priests associated with those movements try.
The only great difference, is where Tradition has a strong foothold, such as in France, there we do witness what Traditional youth events can be like. But again, I don’t have the experience of SSPX events to compare them against.
What I reduce this down to is an issue of magisterial authority. Bishops. We need to somehow break the “magic circle”, the “old boys” of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy and get a Bishop who is willing to be Contra Mundum.