Dreher: Laity Must Defend the Faith – Not Wait for Bishops to ‘Get Their Act Together’

‘The abuse scandals have badly damaged, perhaps even destroyed, the moral authority of the Church’

Best-selling author and conservative thinker Rod Dreher has urged the Irish laity not to passively wait for their bishops to “get their act together” but to speak out and defend the faith themselves.

In an address at University Church in Dublin, hosted by the Iona Institute and the Notre Dame Newman Centre for Faith and Reason, the author of ‘The Benedict Option’ told a crowd of 350 that Catholics in Ireland that he knew “from bitter experience that the institutions of the Catholic Church cannot be relied on to teach, defend, and evangelise for the faith”.

The popular blogger and editor at ‘The American Conservative’, who is author of several books, told The Tablet that it would be “a fatal mistake to sit back and wait for them [the bishops] to get their acts together”.

“Pray that they do but in the meantime faithful Catholics must catechise themselves and their children. They must act themselves to deepen their experience of faith through prayer, the sacraments, Bible reading, and embracing spiritual disciplines.”

The American writer urged committed members of the laity to create small groups, through networking with other convinced believers, and to create local institutions of their own where the faith can thrive in difficult times. He spoke in favour of homeschooling as one means of achieving this.

“We Christians who live in the world need to be closer to each other, geographically and otherwise. We need close-knit communities in which to raise our children,” he said.

Read the rest at The Tablet