Pope encourages laity to ‘take a step forward’

Pope Francis at his general audience at the Vatican yesterday (CNA/Daniel Ibanez)

Pope Francis has called for the laity to “take a step forward” in carrying out the Church’s mission of evangelisation in the preface to a book written by an Italian bishop. Source: CNA.

“The time is now. The mission of the laity is not a privilege of a few and it involves total dedication,” Pope Francis wrote in the foreword to the recently published book Symphony of Ministries: A renewed presence of laity in the Church,” by Bishop Fabio Fabene.

“The laity themselves are asked to be joyful in self-giving and prayer, to grow and to operate within the Christian community to share and support their journey, the mutual exchange of gifts aroused by the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said.

He stressed the importance of “the co-responsibility of the laity in the building up of the Church,” as highlighted in St John Paul II’s 1988 exhortation, Christifideles laici.

“If the heart of the priest’s identity lies in consecrating the Eucharistic bread, the centre of the lay mission consists in consecrating the world according to God’s plan,” Pope Francis wrote.

He mentioned that the recent synods on the family, young people, and the Amazon had recommended new lay ministries “for a more synodal and outgoing Church” and asked every bishop to conduct a careful discernment of which ministries are needed for his territory.

He also warned Church leaders against the temptation to “clericalise” the laity and said it was vital to recognise lay people’s specific vocation.

FULL STORY

Pope Francis urges laity to ‘take a step forward’ in evangelisation (By Courtney Mares, CNA

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