[quote="PaulfromIowa, post:7, topic:341395"]
Aren't you participating in what you are accusing others of, gossiping and judging? Avoid gossips, never feel the need to respond.
I'm afraid I was struck by the same idea when I read the original post.
Understanding that I am probably wrong, because how can you know someone from an online post? But anyway, the OP strikes me as a person who is genuinely concerned about something that he or she has some reason for thinking is a serious problem involving the behavior of other people in his or her church.
What I don't see is how that differentiates the OP from the people about whom he or she is concerned.
FYI, "the common consensus among a couple of us is that there is several families among the church that are responsible for this horrible trend" means "I and a couple of my friends gossiped about this and decided to blame these people." The people about whom the OP is complaining could easily say (and possibly have) "the common consensus among a couple of us is that so-and-so is missing mass," or "... is voting for gay marriage," or whatever. Neither the OP nor the people about whom he or she is complaining has any business making any such judgements, unless the people about whom they are making the judgements are people to whom they bear particular responsibility--e.g. they are talking about their own children or close friends (and then of course the judgements should be made to the people in question).
Basically there are several reasons not to judge. Here are a few:
- You may be wrong about what is happening.
- You may be wrong about who is responsible.
- Your implication that the Pastor of your church would fail to rebuke sinners from mercenary motives may be (and I hope it is) wrong.
- It's not really your business.
- You may (as we all do) have failings that prevent you from seeing things clearly.
These reasons apply equally to the OP and to the people about whom the OP is complaining. Gossip is something to be concerned about. However, missing Mass is a mortal sin, and voting for pro-abortion politicians can, in some circumstances, be a serious matter. Also, provocative clothing is uncharitable because it can lead others to mortal sin. So the difference is not that they are worried about trivial things and the OP is worried about important things.
As a person who has left the Church and known MANY others who have left as well (some of whom returned and some not), I can tell you that nobody leaves the Church because he feels that people are being judgemental. People leave the Church because they do not truly understand the nature of what happens there and/or they do not really understand what the Church teaches and why. If you truly understand these things, none of the sins of men can drive you away.
If the youth are not attending Mass, the response is to ensure that they receive better catechesis, and to show them that you REALLY believe what the Church teaches, not to add to the problem of gossip and blame that may already be present in your parish community. One of the reasons I left was because (arrogant youngster that I was) I thought that since Catholic teachings didn't make sense to me, nobody around me really believed what they were doing. I didn't put it to myself that way, but deep down it is what I thought. I know now that I was wrong, not only in general, but about specific people I knew then and now. It might have helped if I had understood that before, but it certainly would have helped to have some doctrine explained to me clearly by someone who wasn't afraid to tell people he believed the whole thing. :)