morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the
common good and the dignity of persons.”
Participation in Christ’s kingly office
By his obedience unto death,
Christ communicated to
his disciples the gift of royal freedom, so that they might “by the
self-abnegation of a holy life, overcome the reign of sin in them-
That man is rightly called a king who makes his own body
an obedient subject and, by governing himself with suitable
rigor, refuses to let his passions breed rebellion in his soul,
for he exercises a kind of royal power over himself. And
because he knows how to rule his own person as king, so too
does he sit as its judge. He will not let himself be imprisoned
by sin, or thrown headlong into wickedness.
“Moreover, by uniting their forces let the laity so remedy
the institutions and conditions of the world when the latter are an
inducement to sin, that these may be conformed to the norms of
justice, favoring rather than hindering the practice of virtue. By so
doing they will impregnate culture and human works with a moral
“The laity can also feel called, or be in fact called, to
cooperate with their pastors in the service of the ecclesial commu-
nity, for the sake of its growth and life. This can be done through
the exercise of different kinds of ministries according to the grace
and charisms which the Lord has been pleased to bestow on
In the Church, “lay members of the Christian faithful can coop-
erate in the exercise of this power [of governance] in accord with the norm
And so the Church provides for their presence at particular
councils, diocesan synods, pastoral councils; the exercise of the pastoral
care of a parish, collaboration in finance committees, and participation in
ecclesiastical tribunals, etc.
443 CIC, can. 212 § 3.
446 St. Ambrose,
14, 30: PL 15:1476.
36 § 3.
448 Paul VI,
449 CIC, can. 129 § 2.
450 Cf. CIC, cann. 443 § 4; 463 §§ 1 and 2; 492 § 1; 511; 517 § 2; 536; 1421 § 2.