(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued a message Friday evening to the participants at
a conference in Rome on the laity, urging them to work for the social inclusion of
the poor and calling on lay movements to maintain a vital link with their local parishes.
The March 7-8 conference, held at the Pontifical Lateran University, was organized under the theme, “The Mission of Lay Christians in the City”.
In his message, the Pope cited the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and underlined that the lay faithful, in virtue of their baptism, “are protagonists in the work of evangelization and human promotion”.
“Incorporated in the Church, each member of the People of God is inseparably a disciple and a missionary. We must always start again from this foundation, common to all of us, children of Mother Church,” he said.
As a consequence of this common belonging to the Church and to participation in its mission, it is important that parishes and lay movements do not counter each other, he said.
Lay movements in their dynamism are a resource for the Church, he said. However, they must also maintain a vital link to the diocese and to parishes, so as not to develop a partial reading of the Gospel or to uproot themselves from the Church, he added.
In view of the laity’s “mission in the city”, with its complex social and political issues, he urged participants to use regularly the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which he called a “complete and precious tool”.
“With the help of this ‘compass’, I encourage you to work for the social inclusion of the poor”, maintaining always priority attention to religious and spiritual needs.
The Pope assured participants of his closeness in prayer and gave them his blessing.
Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci: