Saturday, July 20, 2013

Role of the Laity in the Church

We all have a duty as laity to spread the faith and also to protect the Church and to safeguard the teachings of our Church and also to speak up where we see any form of abuses towards the liturgy, or towards the simple practice of our faith.  The faith does not belong to an individual Priest or Bishop or an Association of Priests,  but to Christ and to all of us in the Church, members of the Body of Christ and we must do all we can to protect it in its wholeness and beauty.

The role of the laity as Benedict XVI envisages it, is to engage with Catholic culture and present it as an alternative to the “dictatorship of relativism”.

He put it most bluntly at Bellahouston in Scotland, when he said: “The evangelisation of culture is all the more important in our times, when a ‘dictatorship of relativism’ threatens to obscure the unchanging truth about man’s nature, his destiny and his ultimate good. There are some who now seek to exclude religious belief from public discourse, to privatise it or even to paint it as a threat to equality and liberty. Yet religion is in fact a guarantee of authentic liberty and respect, leading us to look upon every person as a brother or sister.

In the document Redemptionis Sacramentum Pope Emeritus Benedict also outlines the following on liturgical abuses;

6. Complaints Regarding Abuses in Liturgical Matters
[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism.

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.  It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

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