I read with interest the article by Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM (May AD2000). It is certainly true that "secularisation" is the principal factor in people leaving the Church - as in other denominations. People without religion will, in the end, find they have nothing to live for.
The writer also observes that very few Catholics frequent the Sacrament of Penance, that is, the First Rite, and that there has been a "loss of a sense of sin." I agree. However, the main culprit for this is unfortunately sometimes the priest, the one who has to hear confessions.
Many Catholics are confused about what they have to say; and so apparently are some priests, who tend to take the easy way out. What people need particularly is spiritual guidance.
More priests need to include aspects of this in their sermons, e.g., speaking about evil and Hell, and the fact that God is infinitely loving and merciful. With a better appreciation of these, more of us should be happier, more at peace with ourselves, and more loving towards others.
In turn, this might contribute to a return by more Catholics to regular confession.
M.G.A. DE WOLF