Lay people 'must make a difference': Brazil cardinal

posted 10 Sep 2010, 23:12 by Stefan Gigacz
Catholic lay people "must make a difference" in their cities and secular societ, Cardinal Odilo Scherer of São Paulo, Brazil has said.

This must come about "through the leaven, salt and light of the Gospel, introduced in social celebrations, in the realm of work and of the different occupations, in communications, in the management of economic and political life and in religious and cultural manifestations," the prelate explained.

He affirmed that "the Gospel and the Christian proposal of life and coexistence are 'Good News' for this urban world." 

For Cardinal Scherer, the Church "will not be able to exercise this mission in a proper way without an active and courageous participation of all her members: clergy, religious and laity."

"We are all missionary disciples of Jesus Christ," he said, "each one with his gift and competence in the Body of Christ, the People of God, which is the Church."

In particular, the cardinal added, the laity "are the apostles of the Gospel in the vast and complex secular world, in which they are citizens and members of the earthly city and, at the same time, members and disciples of the Kingdom of God."

"The mission to introduce the salt, leaven and light of the Gospel in the reality of this world is the duty of lay men and women," he said.

"In the diversity and pluralism of convictions and cultural visions, Christians have something particular to say and to contribute," the prelate affirmed, "so that the city will be better, more worthy and just for each one of its inhabitants and more worthy of God, who dwells in it." 

He concluded, "Let us ensure that Christian testimony, consistent with the Gospel, is positive and does good to the city."

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