.- Speaking to a crowd of nearly 1,200 gathered at Franciscan University of Steubenvilleâs âDefending the Faith Conferenceâ, Boston Archbishop Sean OâMalley challenged listeners to boldly proclaim the truth, stressing that faith should be âanything but private.â Noting the particularly hostile times for the Church, the Archbishop said that âPassing on the faith is not an option. Itâs imperative.â
Archbishop OâMalley has been at the center of a massive cleanup following the priestly sexual abuse scandal which erupted in Boston in the early 2000âs, and has received harsh criticism from many dissident Catholic groups unwilling to accept the Archbishopâs strides to rebuild.
Nevertheless, the Franciscan told the crowd that although the teaching of the Church will often be attacked, it is the truth âthat will set us free.â
âIn a culture addicted to entertainment,â he said, âour challenge is to be teachers of prayerâ¦ There can be no Catholic life without prayer.â 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 âbe men and women of prayerâ¦ Faith without prayer is a contradiction,â and added that, âIf there is no civilization of love, there will be no civilization at all.â
Archbishop OâMalley, 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 IIâs call to a âNew Evangelization.â