Theme: The Role of the Laity?

In this year of St. Paul we are reminded that although there were many factions and divisions within the early Christian communities, his focus was firmly placed on the person of Christ and on the unity and inclusivity with which Jesus was so concerned during his life on earth .

For many reasons, historical, political, and theological, this focus on unity and inclusivity was reduced over the centuries, so that by the twentieth century there was a two-tier assembly, with a clerical world, perceived as ‘The Church’, actively engaged in administration and evangelisation, and a lay world which was passive, silent, and obedient.

Now, due to the shortage of priests, all lay women and men are being called upon to take part in the work of evangelisation. In a busy world, in order to enable lay people to move from a passive to an active role, some questions need to be addressed :

What is the role of the laity in the Catholic Church?


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