Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India clarifies the role of the laity

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) in its statement issued at the end of their recently concluded 31st Assembly in Pala, Kerala clarified its progressive position on the role of the laity
The statement quoted Pope Francis: "We want the Church to be truly a church of the poor."

In a remarkable turn for better, Bishops, 187 in all, reaffirmed that the Church in India should try to live according to the vision of Vatican Council II, “a Church involved in the struggles of human suffering, based on the principles of respect for the person, of solidarity and dialogue.”

In a significant tone, the statement defined its concern on the role of the laity thus:

"Ensuring for our lay faithful their rightful place:  Recognizing the God-given talents and potentialities of the lay faithful, we will, in the first place, listen more to their voice. Hence, we commit ourselves to establish Pastoral Councils in every diocese.

We realize that formation of the lay faithful is the need of the hour. To this end, we commit ourselves, as a priority, to initiate programmes for lay formation to equip them to play their role in the Church and society

The CBCI also appealed to the Catholic community in India to be example of simplicity, transparency, justice and mercy in a society polluted by corruption and violence.

It may be recalled that while wishing the CBCI a successful session, the Cardijn Community International (CCI)- India appealed to the Plenary Assembly to come out with concrete action plan to build a vibrant and sustainable Church of the poor in India as envisioned in the spirit and decisions of Vatican II.

In a communication addressed to the Archbishop Albert D' Souza, CBCI Secretary General before the start of the CBCI Plenary, the National Secretary Ms Glynis Joseph wrote: “In your capacity as the Secretary General, we request you to initiate certain proposals to the CBCI to encourage lay apostolate in India particularly among the youth and workers".

Full statement at:


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