The Lay Vocation

The Responsibility and Role of the Laity

Here is what the Church's Magisterium says about the unique role of the laity in the mission of the Church.

It is the laity's "special vocation . . . to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God's will”
        Lumen Gentium,  The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Vatican II

"The new evangelization that can make the twenty-first century a springtime of the gospel is a task for the entire People of God, but will depend in a decisive way on the lay faithful being fully aware of their baptismal vocation and their responsibility for bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to their culture and society."[emphasis added]

Pope St.John Paul II
The Role of the Catholic Laity
Ad Limina Visit,
June 5th, 1998

"the laity must take up the renewal of the temporal order as their own special obligation . . . ”
[It is] “. . . so much the duty and responsibility of the laity that it can never be performed properly by others" [emphasis added -- Note not by bishops, not by priests -- it is clearly the laity's responsibility]
            The Apostolate of the Laity, Vatican II        

The "new state of affairs today both in the Church and in social, economic, political and cultural life, calls with a particular urgency for the action of the lay faithful. . . It is not permissible for anyone to remain idle[emphasis added]

“In particular the lay faithful are called to restore to creation all its original value"

". . . a faith that does not affect a person's culture is a faith not fully embraced, not entirely thought out, not faithfully lived.' "  

        Christifideles Laici, Apostolic Exhortation
Pope St. John Paul II

“The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society is proper to the lay faithful." [emphasis added -- Note again, not bishops, not priests -- it is clearly the laity's responsibility]

“A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church.[emphasis added]

“The Church's social teaching argues on the basis of reason and . . . what is in accord with the nature of every human being.”[emphasis added]
        Deus Caritas Est (see excerpts -- Just Ordering of Society )
        Pope Benedict XVI


Lay Associations and Eccessial Movements

St. John Paul Catechesis in Audience: Lay Groups Promote the Mission of the Church (March 23, 1994- Note English has been removed, only available in Italian and Spanish) Catholics for the Common Good has followed the guidance from this Catechisis, Lumen Gentium, The Apostolate of the Laity, and Christifideles Laici in forming this apostolate for the Evangelization of Culture.

Canon Law: Associations of the Christian Faithful (Cann. 298 - 329)



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