HomeNewsVatican official lauds laity’s crucial but often underappreciated role in Church evangelization

Vatican official lauds laity’s crucial but often underappreciated role in Church evangelization

The prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life expressed concern that many laypeople may not fully recognize the pivotal role they play in evangelization.

“[Parish life] is extremely difficult, and without the laity in the church, there would be very little or no evangelization done in parishes,” said Cardinal Kevin Farrell during a meeting with over 200 moderators of lay associations and ecclesial movements in the New Synod Hall in Rome last week.

The prelate underscored the indispensable contribution of lay movements to the church’s mission, especially at a time when traditional parish efforts alone are insufficient for spreading the faith.

Cardinal Farrell expressed his appreciation for the often-overlooked contributions of the laity, noting that without their active participation, many parishes would struggle to engage in evangelization.

“What would the church be without movements today? What evangelization goes on that is not done by lay groups, by movements, by associations?” he asked.

He stressed that the church heavily relies on the laity for outreach and spreading the gospel, particularly at a time when clergy numbers are scarce to meet the needs on their own.

“We built megachurches where up to 10,000 people could attend one mass. Was that successful? No,” he commented, likening the lack of personal interaction in such large settings to speaking at a crowded sports stadium.

- Newsletter -

The Cardinal also touched on the theme of synodality, highlighted by Pope Francis in his remarks earlier that day at the meeting. Synodality involves a collaborative and listening-oriented approach, crucial for revitalizing Christian faith within communities.

He recalled the early Christian communities in Rome, which prospered not through organized structures but through direct, persuasive interactions based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Further advocating for a shift back to personal, individual evangelization, Cardinal Farrell shared his views on the necessity of integrating lay movements into the diocesan pastoral plans.

He urged bishops to maintain active communication and collaboration with lay leaders, ensuring their participation complements the unique character of each movement.

“They shouldn’t be operating in the diocese without the consent of the bishop of the diocese. The bishop should use the lay movements as much as they possibly can without changing the charisma of each and every movement,” he said.

Cardinal Farrell called for continued formation and dialogue within the church, urging everyone to adopt synodality as a path forward.

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Support LiCAS.news

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.