The Lay Response to Failed Leadership

I struggle with how the laity should respond to failing leadership in the Church.  Opinions seem to swing wildly from one extreme to another – from viscous, blood-spraying-from-eyeballs attacks, to curling up into a ball and feeling the only faithful response is doing nothing at all.  The fact of the matter is that these leaders are human, and humans will fail; it’s inevitable.  So when it does happen, how should we respond?

 Martin Luther  St. Athanasius
“Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me.” “If the world is against truth, then I am against the world.”
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Shattered Christianity unity. Preserved the world against the Arian Heresy.

As far as Luther and St. Athanasius, I’m not making a statement on the validity of their stances, rather their responses.  An argument could be made that it does make a difference, and that would be an argument I would heartily agree with.

In the end, what was the difference in their response that lead one toward schism and the other toward restoration?

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