Who does the Benedict Option exclude and who does it benefit?
On this episode of the podcast, Matt Malone, S.J., and Kerry Weber are joined by James Martin, S.J., to talk about the Benedict Option, and the duty of Catholics to engage with issues of social justice.
The episode begins with a discussion of the homelessness, the war in Syria and ongoing health crises in Haiti, before introducing Rod Dreher’s controversial new book, The Benedict Option. Patrick Gilger, S.J. joins to talk about his recent essay on the book for America.
“What [Rod Dreher] calls for in The Benedict Option is a strategic withdrawal from certain aspects of American society,” Father Gilger said. “So his solution to this is a monastic one—his particular interpretation of monasticism, which is to withdraw into small communities of faith and practice, so as to form ourselves better.”
“It seems to me that the [Benedict] Option itself is a luxury,” said Matt Malone, S.J., “and the people of Syria and the people of Haiti and the church there doesn’t have that option.”
Father Jim Martin also posed questions about the book. “[The book is] suspicious, as you say [in your article] Paddy, of ‘the notorious LGBT agenda.’ The question is, who is allowed to be in those [Benedict Option] communities? Who is invited, who is welcome? And who decides who is in those communities?”
To hear their full conversation download the podcast above.