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The Profession of Faith

239

902

In a very special way, parents share in the office of sanctifying

“by leading a conjugal life in the Christian spirit and by seeing to the

Christian education of their children.”

435

903

Lay people who possess the required qualities can be admitted

permanently to theministries of lector and acolyte.

436

“When the necessity

of the Church warrants it and when ministers are lacking, lay persons,

even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply for certain of their

offices, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside over

liturgical prayers, to confer Baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion

in accord with the prescriptions of law.”

437

Participation in Christ’s prophetic office

904

“Christ . . . fulfills this prophetic office, not only by the

hierarchy . . . but also by the laity. He accordingly both establishes

them as witnesses and provides them with the sense of the faith

[

sensus fidei

] and the grace of the word”:

438

To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every

preacher and of each believer.

439

905

Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangeli-

zation, “that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testi-

mony of life.” For lay people, “this evangelization . . . acquires a

specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is accomplished

in the ordinary circumstances of the world.”

440

This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the

apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of

announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to

the faithful.

441

906

Lay people who are capable and trained may also collaborate in

catechetical formation, in teaching the sacred sciences, and in use of the

communications media.

442

907

“In accord with the knowledge, competence, and preeminence

which they possess, [lay people] have the right and even at times a duty to

manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the

good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to

the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and

435 CIC, can. 835 § 4.

436 Cf. CIC, can. 230 § 1.

437 CIC, can. 230 § 3.

438

LG

35.

439 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh.

III, 71, 4

ad

3.

440

LG

35 § 1, § 2.

441

AA

6 § 3; cf.

AG

15.

442 Cf. CIC, cann. 229; 774; 776; 780; 823 § 1.

1143

785

92

2044

2472

2495