Laity’s, not Cleric’s, mission

You have said in homilies that you are the supply line, not the field soldier, that is the layperson’s ministry. Can you explain that?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church the Laity:
897 “… have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World.
898 “By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will…. It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ and maybe to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer.”
899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:
Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.

Whereas according to Canon Law:
285      §3. Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.
§4. Without the permission of their ordinary, they are not to take on the management of goods belonging to lay persons or secular offices which entail an obligation of rendering accounts. They are prohibited from giving surety even with their own goods without consultation with their proper ordinary. They also are to refrain from signing promissory notes, namely, those through which they assume an obligation to make payment on demand.
286      Clerics are prohibited from conducting business or trade personally or through others, for their own advantage or that of others, except with the permission of legitimate ecclesiastical authority.
287      §2. They are not to have an active part in political parties and in governing labor unions unless, in the judgment of competent ecclesiastical authority, the protection of the rights of the Church or the promotion of the common good requires it.

As one can see, by virtue of being a cleric I am not in the position to make the changes in the world a lay person can.  By virtue of being a cleric, I can support, nurture, and provide for those lay persons who are changing the world.  By providing the sacraments of the Church and making them available for the nurturing of their Christian faith, I am assisting God in providing the graces necessary for lay people to accomplish their mission.
By proclaiming the Word, Evangelizing, and providing the sacraments, I assist in building up the Church, (the people of God) who then can transform the world as they fulfill their mission.

Author: yuengerwv

Retired Catholic Priest

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