I think the people prior to Vatican II could make the reverse case. In other words–all they heard about was the justice of God and Hell. One of my former bosses had a saying “The only difference between clergy and ministers was in how loud they yelled.” The point he was making was that clergy of all sects emphasized fearing God and Hell.
The generation raised under this–is now elderly. These are the people who are in Confession every week and tend to be extremely scrupulous. They think non sins are sins and they think every sin is a Mortal Sin.
So one could argue that just as much damage was done when the Church emphasized justice over mercy and sin over Grace.
I think what we are living in now is a time of reaction. In reaction to preaching a Gospel of fear and Hell the Church has gone totally in the opposite direction where nothing is a sin and Confession isn’t necessary. Look at Pope Francis–according to him, failing to recycle is a mortal sin. Such would appeal to a younger generation that think the greatest sins are those against the environment. I don’t mean to suggest that we have no duty to care for the environment or recycle–I am suggesting that I find it hard to believe failing to recycle is a mortal sin. The point is that the Church is reactionary. Prior to Vatican II, the Church was at one extreme, now the Church has gone to the other. We need to find a balance between preaching God’s justice and God’s mercy. That is not always easy.
I will say though that I, like you and frustrated with the poor catechesis and lack of substantive teaching and preaching the past 40 years.
I have always believed that what the Church needs the most are priests who are lions on the pulpit but lambs in the confessional. We need priests who unapologetically teach and defend the Faith–while at the same time are approachable and pastoral with their flocks.