The Decree about the lay people apostolate Apostolicam actuositatem responds to an essential necessity in the Church which is to point out the role and the place that lay people have in the Church. They are not some statistical elements, without personality, but they are live limbs of the mystical body of Christ which is the Church. Through an active and constant collaboration with the hierarchy and the clergy they can accomplish beautiful apostolate actions. This interview underlines this desideratum of the Decree and offers an objective interpretation of the Concrete reality in which the lay Christian people live and in which they can spread the Evangel especially through personal example.
Until the Second Vatican Council the lay Christian people had a rather passive role in the Church. The Council Fathers underlined the richness of the values that are to be found in the conscience of the lay Christian people, also the help that they can offer to the Church especially in the education, charity and missionary domain, a help that is irreplaceable. The Council proposed it self to make the lay Christian people aware about the fact that day are living limbs of the mystical body and that they must contribute lively to the Church’s life. This article presents the Decree about the lay people apostolate from the point of view of its implications in the structures of the other Council documents regarding the Church’s members.
The medieval Europe was described as an univesitas Christiana. But today it is more adequate to speak about a pluralistic Europe whose Christian roots are disputed because of the post modern laicization. Starting with this general framework, this study aims to outline the part of the lay persons in the pluralistic society of Europe, which always changes. The European Constitution even if does not refer explicitly to God, permits and stimulates the social involvement of the lay Christian, trough its foundation on the basis of the Christian values: the human dignity, equality in front of God, the religious freedom, the social involvement. The article ends in an optimistic note, expressing the author’s conviction that Europe has still “a Christian soul and a spiritual dimension”, which last thanks to the common effort of all Christian European denominations.
Even if the religious experience of the lay persons existed in every moment of history, the systematic reflection about laity has intensified especial in the last time. Assuming the teaching of the second Council of Vatican from the documents Lumen gentium and Gaudium et spes, Ottorino Pasquato illustrates the identity of the lay person and his part both in the ancient Church and in society, both in West and in East. The author describes the area of laity in the apologetics writings, and the relation between Christians and public institutions, between the biblical poverty and exigencies of social life, between monarchism and the matrimonial life. Then the study focused on the figure of John Crizostom, who spoke about the main part of family, “the little Church”, in children’s education and catechetical forming, in social charity, even in the pastoral mission. These prophetical intuitions can offer solutions the questions of nowadays Christian family and Europe.