Young Catholics of the postconciliar period drifted away from the Church in immense numbers, an unanticipated event of the “renewed” Church and one usually explained in terms of the Church’s failure to change fast enough. But there is an even more obvious point – these young people grew up in a period when literally no one could offer them a strong and coherent account of what it meant to be a Catholic. […] Few young people of the past fifteen years have had sustained contact, during their crucial formative years, with firmly orthodox, serene, self-confident adult Catholics of the kind that every parish and school used to provide in abundance. Parents who have tried to create such an atmosphere in their homes have often found their efforts undermined in the Catholic schools, many of them dominated by church professionals suffering from crises of faith and vocation.

James Hitchcock, Catholicism and Modernity (1979)


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