Authoritarianism and the power of Catholic solidarity

Rightly understood and practiced, solidarity can both build up a nation’s culture and bring down an entrenched political system.

St. John Paul II greets throngs of Poles waiting for a glimpse of their native son at the monastery of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa during his 1979 trip to Poland. (CNS photo/Chris Niedenthal)

It is common nowadays for politicians, university administrators, corporate executives, and many others to declare that they “stand in solidarity” with one group or another. Some give speeches, others participate in demonstrations, and still others send tweets. Sometimes these declarations are platitudes and at other times there is genuine feeling and goodwill behind them.

However, some have repeatedly and very publicly stated that their words and actions are based on Catholic social teaching. This takes the proclamations of solidarity to a new and higher level because, in Catholicism, the word “solidarity” has some very specific connotations. In fact, Catholic solidarity is powerful enough to bring down an authoritarian regime. This aspect of Catholic social teaching is becoming increasingly relevant as we see authoritarianism on the rise throughout the world.

Rightly understood and practiced, solidarity can both build up a nation’s culture and bring down an entrenched political system. This is because it seeks personal integrity, truth, and charity, all of which promote human flourishing while exposing the internal contradictions and lies within society. When accompanied with sincere prayer and an openness to grace, solidarity overflows into the political sphere. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] points out, solidarity is necessary for socio-economic problems to be resolved (CCC, 1941). This is because seeking God’s kingdom leads to changed social conditions (CCC, 1942).

Dignity, freedom, virtues, subsidiarity: All or nothing

Before delving into the power of solidarity, it is helpful to recall some of the key elements of Catholic social teaching. One is the reality of human dignity and freedom. We have dignity because we are made to be in the image and likeness of God (CCC, 355-357). Two divine faculties which we are given are intellect and will. Intellect is the ability to know reality. The will is used to love, which is defined as willing the good of another in the concrete (CCC, 1766). We use these two abilities to “share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life.” (CCC, 356; see also CCC, 1700, 1711). Therefore, we have an innate desire to respond to our vocation in society by seeking truth and loving others.

A second element regards the virtues and their relationship to the sacraments. “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions. The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.” (CCC, 1803). Character is developed by practicing the virtues. Furthermore, “Christ’s gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues. Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength, frequent the sacraments, cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil.” (CCC, 1811; see also 1830).

The sacraments support the virtues necessary for social action and for fighting attempts to destroy Catholic culture. Baptism provides the grace for Christians to “live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit” and “grow in goodness through the moral virtues” (CCC, 1266). Confirmation “brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace” (CCC, 1303). The Eucharist, food for our journey here on Earth, “preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism.” (CCC, 1392). The sacrament of reconciliation results in “an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle” (CCC, 1496).

The third element is that Catholic social teaching is an all-or-nothing proposition. One must fully accept all of these principles: the dignity of the human person, the common good, solidarity, and subsidiarity (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 160-162). Furthermore, the Church’s social teaching rests on the values of truth, freedom, justice, and love (Compendium, 197). Hence, all who profess Catholic solidarity must embrace the entire package. Claiming solidarity as a principle while neglecting the other principles, values, and the virtues empties it of its ability to have any real effect on the world (Compendium, 162).

Authentic solidarity

With these foundational concepts in mind, let’s now turn to solidarity. It is not a “feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far.” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis [SRS], 38). Instead, it is closely related to Christian charity, i.e., love (SRS, 40). Since solidarity “is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good”, it is outward-focused and implies a sacrificial love. (Compendium, 193, italics in original; see also SRS, 38).

It is important to keep in mind that solidarity has “two complementary aspects: that of a social principle and that of a moral virtue.” (Compendium, 193, italics in original). As mentioned above, the principle of solidarity is inexorably connected with the dignity of the human person, the common good, and subsidiarity (Compendium, 160; also see Caritas In Veritate, 58).

Subsidiarity is the principle and virtue of devolving decision-making to the lowest levels of society practicable. It is giving the weak and poor a meaningful voice. The mark of subsidiarity is the intermediate association, which provides a means for people to practice the virtuous life (Compendium, 151). Local nonprofits are one example of such associations. The Compendium states, “Solidarity without subsidiarity, in fact, can easily degenerate into a “Welfare State”, while subsidiarity without solidarity runs the risk of encouraging forms of self-centred localism.” (Compendium, 351).

One criticism often heard is that these ideas don’t work in the real world. However, history proves otherwise. As an example, let’s look at Poland. In the late 1700s, Russia, Prussia, and the Hapsburgs annexed Poland in three stages, with the final partition being in 1795. Brutal Germanisation and Russification policies attempted to destroy the Polish Church and culture. The Poles fought back with both active and passive resistance, including insurrections and building their culture through their own version of the Benedict Option.

As explained by Rod Dreher in his blog, the Benedict Option is creating intentional communities to form the next generation “of disciples who can withstand the pressures of the world while simultaneously being in the world as gospel witnesses.” By creating underground institutions such as the press, “flying” universities, theater, and literature, the Poles kept the culture thriving for over a century despite having no country. On the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage created a website called “Where is Poland?” describing this Polish version of the Benedict Option.

During the Second World War, the Poles created an underground government, complete with its own military, court system, schools, police, social services, and other institutions. Once again, the arts and the press were key to national survival. The Warsaw Institute published a short description of this state-within-a-state in Katarzyna Utracka’s December 2019 article, “The Phenomenon of the Polish Underground State”. After the end of the Second World War, it became apparent that the Poles could not fight the Soviet occupation militarily so they continued passive resistance.

In the wake of the crackdown after the 1976 labor protests, the Poles created the Komitet Obrony Robotników (KOR, or Workers’ Defense Committee), a network which provided legal and financial support to families of detainees, organized underground student lectures, published Samizdat material, and even offered childcare while parents were incarcerated or recovering from police beatings. Social groups, churches, and even the boy scouts contributed. KOR maintained a policy of always publishing the truth, and if a statement is later proven incorrect, then a retraction was issued. This network later became the foundation for the Solidarność (Solidarity) movement, which lead to free elections and the eventual breakup of the Soviet Union.

John Paul II and the virtue of solidarity

What does Poland have to do with Catholic social teaching? Let’s revisit this history in light of Catholic social teaching. Many, such as Dr. DeMarco in his article, “The Virtue of Solidarity”, have noted that the virtue gave life to the Solidarity movement. The principles of Catholic teaching were present in Karol Wojtyła’s preaching on the dignity of the human person. The Poles worked toward the common good of the nation and intermediary associations such as theaters and universities, even though suppressed, existed in the spirit envisioned in Rerum Novarum, 48 and 49 and Quadragesimo Anno, 33 and 34. One can read the eyewitness accounts of people involved with the underground, such as John Feffer’s interview with Ewa Kulik, and see evidence of the exercise of intellect and will, of the cardinal virtues (CCC, 1805-1809), and of other virtues such as solidarity, perseverance, creativity, and community building.

The values of truth, freedom, justice, and love were very much evident in the underground movements. For example, leaders in both KOR and Solidarność knew that truth is a powerful weapon. In a quintessentially Polish style, even the name KOR was meant to embarrass the authorities by exposing their lies. Poland was a one-party state ruled by the Polish United Workers’ Party, the communist self-appointed advocate for workers. The name “Workers’ Defense Committee” underscored the fact that workers needed to protect themselves from the party that was ostensibly protecting them.

In 1979, St. Pope John Paul II visited Poland. In his homilies, he spoke the truth about who the Poles are in Christ and that Christ is the Lord of history. Millions came to see him. Polish TV showed only a brief clip of the pope and refused to show the multitudes present. With a significant percentage of the population having personally seen the pope, the Poles understood this downplaying of the visit in the media to mean that the government feared the pope’s message. This realization that the government was weak and afraid encouraged the Poles. The ascendance of Solidarność without an invasion from the Soviet Union revealed the USSR’s bankruptcy and was the first domino that led to a chain of events culminating in its demise.

These was one moment that brought the many years of resistance to fruition. On his first papal visit, John Paul II said Mass at Victory Square in Warsaw. In his homily, he proclaimed,

And I cry — I who am a Son of the land of Poland and who am also Pope John Paul II, — I cry from all the depths of this millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost: ‘Let your Spirit descend. Let your Spirit descend and renew the face of the earth, the face of this land.’

He invoked his standing as one who suffered in solidarity with his nation and, more significantly, he invoked the authority given by Christ to the papacy. His plea to the Holy Spirit to descend upon the land of the Poles referenced the graces of the sacrament of confirmation. Shortly after his death in April, 2005, Peggy Noonan published an article entitled “We Want God”. In it she tells us that in Krakow, a few days after the Mass in Warsaw, the Pope was more explicit. He said:

As a bishop does in the sacrament of Confirmation so do I today extend my hands in that apostolic gesture over all who are gathered here today, my compatriots. And so I speak for Christ himself: “Receive the Holy Spirit!” I speak too for St. Paul: “Do not quench the Spirit!” I speak again for St. Paul: “Do not grieve the Spirit of God!”

The Church and the sacramental graces were indispensable in keeping Polish culture alive. The pope fully understood the authority he had to call for a release of the gifts of confirmation to strengthen the people so that they could complete their work.

The rise of authoritarianism today

What does this say about our situation today? Authoritarianism is on the rise. It is important to note that authoritarian systems are inherently unstable because they deny human nature. Humans are made for freedom (CCC, 1705, 1706; see also CCC, 1731). To keep in power, an authoritarian government must expend enormous amounts of resources to control the faculties which God gave us – will and intellect. It cannot control our innate desire to love and seek truth nor the movement of the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts. Such a state cannot survive a citizenry seeking truth, justice, freedom, love, and the virtuous life. Solidarity and subsidiarity undercut the foundations of an authoritarian regime.

Polish history reveals the central role of grace in a society. The Polish Church recognized that laity must have access to the sacraments. That is why, before he was pope, Karol Wojtyła insisted that a church be built in Nowa Huta, a town meant to show off the glory of socialism. He believed that the laity are to work to bring political structures under Christ’s lordship. His exhortation to Christians in his homily for the inauguration of his pontificate was:

Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development.

We forgot the martial characteristics of confirmation and lost the sense that we are the Church militant spreading God’s kingdom. The first Christians preached fearlessly in Jerusalem after Pentecost despite the Roman army stationed there (Acts 2:1-41). The Baltimore Catechism calls the confirmed “soldiers of Jesus Christ”. The act of being “drafted” into Christ’s army used to be symbolized by the bishop giving the confirmed a gentle slap on the cheek.

Today, many of our prelates are overly concerned with worldly matters. Some appear to be practical atheists who squander, or even worse, abuse the power and authority given them by God through their ordinations. Many do not seem enthusiastic about re-evangelizing the Catholics who left the Church or reversing the decline in the number of baptisms. In the past year and a half we have seen them withhold sacramental graces from the souls in their care. Good, solid catechesis on grace and the virtues was denied to many Catholics for decades.

In the section on solidarity, the Compendium tells us that the virtue precedes institutional change (Compendium, 193). The implication for us is that the Church must be reformed from within before it can be an effective channel of the graces needed for laity to change the world. Perhaps we will need a new generation of bishops before this can happen.

Many politicians, university administrators, corporate executives, and others who “virtue signal” loudly state that they “stand in solidarity” with one group or another. Do they truly understand that authentic solidarity, together with the other aspects of Catholic life, has great transformative power? It is ironic that “Catholic” virtue signalers who support a more authoritarian government invoke a virtue and principle that brought down a totalitarian empire. Perhaps now is the time to re-evangelize the world on the Catholic teaching on solidarity.

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About Theodore Misiak 8 Articles
Theodore Misiak has a Ph.D. in Economics and many years of experience in both business and academia.


    • The question confuses me. What is it about Communism and solidarity that we should know or understand? Who defines a word as “Communist”?

  1. A very good informative article containing the beauty of Truth but can solidarity exist in a Church within a Church ..V.. the answer is no so, this must be resolved.

    It could be said that this and many other articles on this site contain words of b>Wisdom (Truth)
    Quote “The fifth gift of the Holy Spirit, knowledge, is often confused with both wisdom and understanding. Like wisdom, knowledge is the perfection of faith, but whereas wisdom gives us the desire to judge all things according to the truths of the Catholic Faith, knowledge is the actual ability to do so. Like counsel, it is aimed at our actions in this life. In a limited way, knowledge allows us to see the circumstances of our life the way that God sees them. Through this gift of the Holy Spirit, we can determine God’s purpose for our lives and live them accordingly” ….. In this World.

    The importance of words that need to be heard
    Nothing is new as the history of sin we all know
    From year to year, we diddle and dally
    As words of Truth, we have tarried and palled

    Words without action are just a distraction
    To act in the moment is the task
    Not to hide behind a verbal mask
    The fallen Tower of Babel has met its match
    With a continual crescendo of words that will not hatch

    We have an acknowledgment of serious sin
    Princely vanity is where it did begin
    Leading to collusion with the originator of sin
    As the elite (educated) hide in the dark, refusing to bark
    Have they just words without any heart?
    Sharing muted words while hiding within the ‘dark mass’ of the herd

    Quote on this site from a regular poster with my response: “There is infinitely more to His life and grace than one saint’s painting and the Church’s failure in its regard. One day God will set it all right”

    The church’s failure can be corrected and we the faithful should call out and demand that the leadership does so now in the ‘present moment’ for not to do so is to collude with their breaking of the Second Commandment.

    You say “One day God will set it all right”
    “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things” St Mother Teresa:

    “They Honour me with their lips but their hearts are far from me”

    Because they cannot in solidarity even defend His Holy Name.
    So in the present moment proclaim “Hallowed be thy Name” and mean it.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Addendum to my post above.

      What sustains the power of evil within the Church today? Is it not privilege?
      The reality of this power/evil today within the church is manifest by
      ‘privileged’ laity who colluded with the elite, in what could be described as a Church within a Church which appears to be held together by a ..V.. which I believe signifies ‘one’ of the five points of the Pentagram. This given ..V.. transforms itself into a Circle of Worldly Power. All circles of worldly power rely on secrecy, this gives an advantage based on deception and serves the Evil One. He cannot be beaten at his own game, the early Christians used signs and gestures, but these can be duplicated, then we have duplicity and confusion at play; for those on the outside, like me, friend or foe you no longer know
      It was put to me many years ago, “it’s a bit like the game of tag, you pass the lurgy (British slang) to someone else” Conclusion you then become part of Groupthink ..V.. (The privileged herd). While also being told jovially “the new holder of the lurgy always has the option to get rid of his load (Worldly troubles) by passing it on.

      While the V (Two finger sign often used covertly) is used widely within society which often promotes advantage or the expectation of advantage in commerce, education, healthcare, etc, and all organized community activities including those within the religious sphere which enables corruption to flourish.

      We see the emblematic sign of two via the picture in the link below which says to those conspirators Stop! back off! and in doing so they collude with the Prince of this World. In effect, they become enablers/guardians to those who distort the Truth for their own ends. May God have mercy on them.

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

  2. We read: “The sacraments support the virtues necessary for social action and for fighting attempts to destroy Catholic culture.”

    At the synods, as your neighbor what he thinks of the interior life. Chances are he won’t have any idea what you’re talking about. It’s the Eucharist that assembles the Church, not the other way around.

    This is why solidarity and subsidiarity must always come together. All of the Catholic Social Teaching (the Compendium) is anchored in such tensions: the transcendent person and the family always together; wider solidarity and subsidiarity always together; rights and responsibilities always together; informed conscience and faithful citizenship always together; the option for the poor and the dignity of work always together; and sustainable care for God’s creation and solidarity/subsidiarity, always together.

    As in St. Pope John Paul II’s Poland, these irreducible tensions are why the sacraments and the moral virtues (prudence, temperance, justice and courage)—rather than any overriding ideology—must be at the heart of Catholic culture and our actions personally and socially in the world.

  3. The Church administrators,its educational, medical and social service, the Pope and the vast majority of Bishops are all-in on the covid world order/totalitarianism.
    Catholicism is as of 2020 a ‘non essential service’ these are the real world outworkings.
    After all the past events of church history, ultimately the theology is conditional on government dictates.

  4. Solidarity is a key element in Karol Wojtyła’s personalist thought. (Solicitudo Rei Socialis, §§ 38-40) This is not Émile Durkheim’s fascist-socialist solidarity, although that is how many people still interpret it. Wojtyła’s solidarism is in the same Aristotelian-Thomist family of thought as that of Fr. Heinrich Pesch, S.J.

    In Wojtyła’s thought, solidarity is a characteristic of groups per se, a principle that fulfills and completes that general justice which permeates all virtue, a sort of “general social charity.” As such, it relates to social charity as legal justice relates to social justice, viz, a general virtue as it relates to a particular virtue: “Solidarity is undoubtedly a Christian virtue. In what has been said so far it has been possible to identify many points of contact between solidarity and charity, which is the distinguishing mark of Christ’s disciples.” (Ibid., § 40)

    That is, solidarity is an awareness of rights and duties within a particular group that define how sovereign individuals relate as persons to one another and to the group. All people as members of a group have solidarity when they have that awareness and can participate fully as members of that group.
    Solidarity is an essential prerequisite for social justice, for only members of groups can carry out acts of social justice. Cooperation is achieved, not by absorbing people into the group or collective, but by mutual interaction and give-and-take in exercising rights and attaining the common goals and aspirations of the group.

    In sharp contrast to the Great Reset and similar proposals which ignore the human person’s inherent rights in favor of collectivist programs, in Wojtyła’s personalism, each and every human being, even — or especially — as a member of society retains his uniqueness and individuality. As Wojtyła explained,

    “Only the human being as a person is the true center of morality, whereas every society and social group bases its morality on the human being as a person and derives its morality from this source. The concept of social morality is, of course, something very real and continually evolving, but it in no way represents an attempt to substitute society for the human person as the substantial subject of moral values and the proper center of morality.” (Karol Wojtyła, “The Problem of the Theory of Morality,” Person and Community: Selected Essays. New York: Peter Lang, 2008, 155.)

    • Thank you for this excellent comment. It is a thought-provoking response to the post. I have filed the post for consideration and will add this comment to the file.

  5. Thank you for illustrating (without intentionality) the spark differences between John Paul II and Francis I.

    St. John Paul understood the threat of totalitarian governments to the dignity of man. He lived and preached solidarity and subsidiarity. He understood that man is free, not because government grants rights which they then can remove, but because God has endowed them with rights and freedom. When word of his death spread around Rome people came running from all directions to keep vigil, mourn and to pray. I doubt highly that the same will happen when Francis I meets his demise. I suspect that people will stop to think about the many nasty and vindictive things he said and did – to his fellow Catholics. St. John Paul fought against totalitarianism; Francis I jumps into bed with them and all those who inhabit the profane world of atheists, population control fanatics and Pachamama worshippers. One will always wonder whether it was the Curia that made this Pope or whether the Pope made the Curia.

    • Whether the Curia made this Pope or whether this Pope made the Curia is a chicken-egg type question, isn’t it? We’re stuck with both. To date, I find little reason to hope that the next pope will differ from Francis in much more than name.

      • I hear you…my children and grandchildren will be facing a long and cold Catholic winter. Then comes the Springtime.

  6. Aquinas’ assessment was that the monarchy is the best form of government. Then added with a nuance of humor that the monarch must be a man of exceptional integrity, and as such, such a man [channeling Diogenes] is very difficult to find. So then PhD economics Misiak credentialed for his opinion correlates subsidiarity with solidarity. We [not the pontificating we] might say that solidarity defined as a togetherness of benevolent habitual pursuit that modifies centralized authority for sake of shared power, subsidiarity based on the Polish model is precarious. That’s because the Polish experiment succeeded contra the most vile despotism. Whereas nowadays we have liberal agenda administrations highly popular with vast parts of society. Rod Dreher’s underground Benedict style Christianity similar to Poland’s occupation cryptic governance distances us. John Paul’s Polish solidarity did not recognize legitimate want in South American liberation theology, clerical and laity theologists differing from the theologian that they assumed from Marx legitimate principles of equity. If his efforts had been in Ecuador as dedicated as it was in Poland’s violent Solidarity movement the beneficial conditions for Catholicism may have exceeded those in Poland. Solidarity has meaning in context of long range ecclesial interest. Here in America it’s the recognition of legitimate appeal that government has a required role as a type of monarchical ‘brothers keeper’, a failure of recognition by Republicans and excess by Democrats recognized by Benedict XVI.

    • “So then PhD economics Misiak credentialed for his opinion correlates subsidiarity with solidarity.”

      Is the PhD the problem or that it is in economics.

    In the USA, Liberal/Leftist governmental leaders from school boards to Congress to courts to the White House have, for decades now, been increasingly boxing people into a legal framework that many Americans view as tyrannical and perverted.

    Liberals/Leftists have accomplished this mainly by peaceful means and within the rule of law.

    E.g., it was the U.S. Supreme Court that peacefully issued a ruling making same-gender marriage and no-gender marriage the law in all 50 states.

    As I read the news today, and read statements from Conservative/Rightist leaders and commentators, I get the feeling that they believe that the only way to restore the law and culture of America to traditional ways of obedience to Natural Law and devotion to the true God is to have a national Conservative/Rightist authoritarian government that cannot be thrown out of power every few years by elections but rather has a rock-solid permanent basis.

    And I think that more and more Conservative/Rightist leaders and commentators are now thinking that a society-wide insurrection/uprising of Conservatives/Rightist citizens is what’s necessary and justifiable to bring about the salvation of America.

    And this society-wide insurrection/uprising is going to be bloody, I think. The anger and rage out there now among Conservatives/Rightist citizens have reached persistently high levels that I’ve never seen before.

    The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) seems like a partial model for what’s coming. Yes, the Communists and their allies were defeated in that conflict, but some people on the side of victorious “good guys” also wantonly tortured, murdered and massacred thousands and thousands of completely innocent Spanish citizens, without a bit of the “rule of law” involved.

    Coups, dictatorships, insurrections, political hoaxes and big lies, genocides, civil wars, bloody rebellions, etc., are commonplace in other parts of the world (Bosnia, Rwanda, Russia, Venezuela, Haiti, Myanmar, Syria, Sudan, etc.). I guess America is now getting ready to “join the club.”

    Like many, I always thought we Americans were a different breed, a “nation set on a hill” to be a “light to the nations,” and so on. I think that’s all about to be disproven.

    Still, I suppose I still hold some hope that Catholics theologians and Catholic writers and Catholic leaders of all sorts can keep the American dam from breaking.

    Catholics in the 1980s found a peaceful way forward in Communist Poland; they avoided a nation-wide bloodbath. They didn’t replace the cruel Communist one-party dictatorship with a cruel Rightist one-party dictatorship.

    If Catholics will now, while there’s still time, “sound the alarm” about the apparently coming bloody nation-wide insurrection, and propose an alternative, peaceful, honest, fair, and effective way forward, maybe a bloody nation-wide insurrection will never materialize at all.

    But if Catholic thought leaders bury their head in the sand, then the American Dream is, I’m afraid, going to become a bloody, shameful nightmare.

  8. A good concise analysis of Poland’s history. Yes Poles worked together and opposed totalitarianism for centuries – the only thing left out of the analysis was Poles were able to do this because of their strong faith ‘sempere fidelis’ And deep devotion to Mary the Mother of God and this gave them the strength and courage to oppose the evil that engulfed them particularly in the C20th . Now that evil has moved to the West but I doubt that they will have the courage to oppose it – greed and violence are now engulfing the Western world – Christ said he would be with His Church to the end of time – not with Western civilisation .

  9. “As explained by Rod Dreher in his blog, the Benedict Option is creating intentional communities to form the next generation “of disciples who can withstand the pressures of the world while simultaneously being in the world as gospel witnesses.””

    Rod Dreher assumes hostile powers will allow this to occur and the evidence is against that assumption.

    Then again, I’m not inclined to listen to a guy propose a community, when he can’t stay in existing ones.

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