The Profession of Faith
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.”
Lay people who possess the required qualities can be admitted
permanently to theministries of lector and acolyte.
“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.”
Participation in Christ’s prophetic office
“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
] and the grace of the word”:
To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every
preacher and of each believer.
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.”
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
Lay people who are capable and trained may also collaborate in
catechetical formation, in teaching the sacred sciences, and in use of the
“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.
439 St. Thomas Aquinas,
III, 71, 4
35 § 1, § 2.
6 § 3; cf.
442 Cf. CIC, cann. 229; 774; 776; 780; 823 § 1.