From Mr Paul Cullen
Sir, Has anyone considered that the reason adolescents are failing to attend Sunday Mass is because they are bored — not by the liturgy (which they understand is immutable) but by the sermons?
More often than not they are second rate in both content and delivery. Young Catholics need constant instruction in everyday issues. What is the teaching of the Church regarding a just war, strikes, euthanasia, abortion, racialism, contraception, other major religions and many other subjects which form part of everyday life?.
These subjects are. in my experience, seldom, if ever, addressed by parish priests, and again front my personal experience, their performance in the pulpit clearly demonstrates that the art of public speaking is a subject which does not appear in the seminarian's curriculum.
Why not form a "flying squad"of top class orators to cover the diocese? There must be 200 supremely well-qualified Catholics oratorically gifted and resident in the area who, given the officially approved content, could spend a
full Saturday evening/Sunday at a different parish each week, preach at every Mass, and create an atmosphere which should in the longer term help to bring back the absent friends.
Anyone who thinks I am on the wrong track should examine the faces of those around them when they are listening (or not) to their next sermon.
I am prepared to put my money where my mouth is and donate £3,000 to any organisation which is formed to achieve this end. I shall be delighted to hear from anyone who shares my views.
Yours faithfully PAUL CULLEN 2 Kempe Rd London NW6 6SJ