The Holy Father affirms the role of the laity as being co-responsible for the Church, and not mere collaborators with the clergy.
Pope Benedict XVI says the the laity should be seen as truly “co-responsible” for the Church, and not just “collaborators” with the clergy. The Pope said this in a message addressed to the 6th Assembly of the International Catholic Action Forum held inRomania.
“Co-responsibility requires a change in mentality, particularly with regard to the role of the laity in the Church,” the Holy Father said. Hence, he called for a committed laity who are united, each making his own “specific contribution to the Church’s mission, in accordance with the ministries and tasks each one has in the life of the Church, and always in cordial communion with the bishops.”
Recalling that Lumen Gentium spoke of the laity-clergy relationship as “familiar,” the Pontiff said it is “important to deepen and to live out this spirit of profound communion in the Church, which characterized the early Christian community, as the book of the Acts of the Apostles attests.”
“Feel the commitment to work for the Church’s mission to be your own,” he exhorted, “through prayer, through study, through active participation in ecclesial life, through an attentive and positive gaze at the world, in the continual search for the signs of the times.”
Benedict XVI encouraged “serious and daily” ongoing formation, saying the laity are “called to be courageous and credible witnesses in every sphere of society, so that the Gospel might be the light that brings hope in difficult situations, in troubles and in the darkness that men today so often find along the path of life.”