The first seven sections of the Directory for Masses With Children (henceforth DMC) constitute the introduction to the main document. Two categories of young people are of concern. Those who have yet to complete their Christian initiation, which includes Confirmation, are one group. The other would be children, mostly pre-adolescents, who have recently received Communion.
Remember the pessimism originates in the early 70’s: not so different from the tone of pessimism one reads today.
1. The Church must show special concern for baptized children who have yet to be fully initiated through the sacraments of confirmation and eucharist as well as for children who have only recently been admitted to holy communion. Today the circumstances in which children grow up are not favorable to their spiritual progress. [See Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Catechetical Directory no. 5: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 64 (1972) 101-102.] In addition parents sometimes scarcely fulfill the obligations they accepted at the baptism of their children to bring them up as Christians.
Parents who fail at their obligations are a concern, as are the general circumstances of children in virtually any culture.