AMERICA/BRAZIL - Assembly of Bishops: without the help of the laity there cannot be an "outgoing Church"

Thursday, 7 April 2016 episcopal conferences   laity  


Aparecida (Agenzia Fides) - "We sincerely hope that this meeting will help us to support and enhance the mission of the laity. There cannot be an "outgoing Church" without the help of the laity, and a just and fraternal society if the laity are not salt and light". This is what the Archbishop of Brasilia and President of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference (CNBB), His Exc. Mgr. Sergio da Rocha expressed during the opening session of the 54th Ordinary Assembly of the CNBB, which takes place from 6 to 15 April in Aparecida on the theme "Laity and Christian laity in the Church and in society. Salt of the earth and light of the world".
According to information sent to Fides, the President of the CNBB said that the meeting of the Brazilian Episcopate does not intend to propose technical solutions or give political answers, since "the Church, faithful to its mission, wants to offer the joy of the Gospel, ethical criteria that must always guide our work". Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Archbishop of Aparecida, illustrating the theme of the Assembly, stressed the need to "open up spaces for the laity in the Church and favor their formation and participation in their own context, which are temporal realities".
Speaking to reporters, the Archbishop of Mariana, His Exc. Mgr. Geraldo Lyrio Rocha pointed out that the Assembly of Bishops presents elements of "great interest" especially during this delicate moment, regarding social, economic and political situations that the Country faces.
He therefore commented: "As Pastors, we have much to say to society, we have a very specific mission within the Church, however, we cannot forget that the presence of the laity in the Church's life is important, their presence and their action in society is very important, laymen and laywomen will surely bring a specific contribution of Christians to our Country". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 07/04/2016)