Life

The role of the laity

Today, after Mass, after (much needed) Confession, after silently praying The Way of the Cross (also much needed ~ can you tell I’ve been spiralling, downward, spiritually?) , after chatting to fellow parishioners…and before a parish shopping trip and Vietnamese lunch out at Cabramatta, followed by House Cleaning for a darn, dratted House Inspection, followed by family movie night ( only four of us home), watching Click and crying….today, I did some reading on the role of the laity within the Church.

Why?

Because of thoughts and things. Things I need to sort.

I shared the quotes below on Facebook but now want to keep them here, on my blog, for my future reference.

You ever know when such quotes just might come in handy.

Cardinal Newman in 1851:

What I desiderate in Catholics is the gift of bringing out what their religion is — I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity — I wish you to enlarge your knowledge, to cultivate your reason, to get an insight into the relation of truth to truth, to learn to view things as they are, to understand how faith and reason stand to each other, what are the bases and principles of Catholicism …

I have no apprehension you will be the worse Catholics for familiarity with these subjects, provided you cherish a vivid sense of God above and keep in mind that you have souls to be judged and saved. In all times the laity have been the measure of the Catholic spirit; they saved the Irish Church three centuries ago and they betrayed the Church in England. You ought to be able to bring out what you feel and what you mean, as well as to feel and mean it; to expose to the comprehension of others the fictions and fallacies of your opponents; to explain the charges brought against the Church, to the satisfaction, not, indeed, of bigots, but of men of sense, of whatever cast of opinion.

Pope Benedict XVI

“When dioceses are faced with a lack of priests”, Pope Benedict said, they should not resort to “a more active and abundant participation of the laity” since it could detract from the lay calling.

Fulfilling the lay vocation involves working to “give expression in real life – also through political commitment – to the Christian view of anthropology and the social doctrine of the Church..”

“The truth is that the greater the faithful’s awareness of their own responsibilities within the Church, the clearer becomes the specific identity and inimitable role of the priest as pastor of the entire community, witness to the authenticity of the faith, and dispenser of the mysteries of salvation in the name of Christ the Head,”.

Making the remarks in an audience with bishops visiting from Brazil, the pontiff said that while the lay faithful share in the “common priesthood,” they are not ordained ministers of Christ and His Church.

“Hence,” the Pope cautioned, “it is important to avoid the secularisation of clergy and the ‘clericalisation’ of the laity.

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