.- Speaking to a crowd of nearly 1,200 gathered at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s ‘Defending the Faith Conference’, Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley challenged listeners to boldly proclaim the truth, stressing that faith should be “anything but private.” Noting the particularly hostile times for the Church, the Archbishop said that “Passing on the faith is not an option. It’s imperative.”
Archbishop O’Malley has been at the center of a massive cleanup following the priestly sexual abuse scandal which erupted in Boston in the early 2000’s, and has received harsh criticism from many dissident Catholic groups unwilling to accept the Archbishop‘s strides to rebuild.
Nevertheless, the Franciscan told the crowd that although the teaching of the Church will often be attacked, it is the truth “that will set us free.”
“In a culture addicted to entertainment,” he said, “our challenge is to be teachers of prayer… There can be no Catholic life without prayer.” It is essential, he said, to incorporate apologetics into catechesis, and to stress the centrality of the Eucharist, confession, and Marian piety.
He told the audience that they must “be men and women of prayer… Faith without prayer is a contradiction,” and added that, “If there is no civilization of love, there will be no civilization at all.”
Archbishop O’Malley, was joined at the conference by Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR, Fr. Mitch Pacwa and Marcus Grodi of EWTN fame, apologist Jeff Cavins and theologians Alan Schreck and Scott Hahn. The university noted that the conference is aimed at equipping Catholic men and women to confidently stand up for the Catholic faith in a sometimes hostile and non-understanding world.
It is likewise aimed at fulfilling the late John Paul II’s call to a “New Evangelization.”