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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Message to Cardinal Rylko: the conciliar basis of the vocation and mission of the laity

Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Laity, in collaboration with the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, has organised a study day dedicated to the theme “Vocation and mission of the laity: fifty years after the Decree 'Apostolicam Actuositatem'”.

On this occasion, Pope Francis sent a message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to all the participants in the event, in which he remarks that the Day enters within the context of the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of Vatican Council II, an “extraordinary event of grace, that … led also, among its many fruits, to a new way of looking at the vocation and mission of the laity in the Church and in the world, which is magnificently expressed primarily in the two great conciliar Constitutions Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes. … The Council, therefore, does not look upon the laity as if they were members of a 'second order', in the service of the hierarchy and as simple executors of orders from above, but rather as Christ's disciples who, by virtue of their Baptism and their natural integration 'in the world', are called upon to inspire every environment, every activity,and every human relationship according to the spirit of the Gospel. … Within the overreaching framework of this conciliar doctrine, we find the Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, which looks more closely at the nature and scope of the lay apostolate. This document clearly reminds us that … the announcement of the Gospel is not reserved to some 'mission professionals', but should instead be the profound wish of all the lay faithful”.

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