Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko Recommends New Style for Priest-Lay Teamwork
ROME, JAN. 27, 2010 - Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, called for "a new style of collaboration between priests and laity in ecclesial movements and new communities." He said that it is to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and at the service of evangelization.
The Cardinal made the recommendation during a three-day conference in Rome that was organized by the Emanuel Community and the Pierre Goursat University Institute, in collaboration with the Pontifical Institute "Redemptor Hominis."
He said that making it work first requires that priests "recognize the identity proper to the lay faithful and value their mission effectively in the Church and in the world."
And he said that laypeople live this new style of collaboration when they manifest a "lively sense of belonging" to the Church, reflected in the "awareness of their co-responsibility and necessary participation in the life and mission of the Church." In this regard, laity must avoid being "contaminated by the worldly logic of the struggle for power."
The collaboration of clergy and laity is a "decisive factor for the missionary reawakening of the whole people of God in a world where secularism and neo-paganism are rampant, and where God is increasingly the Great Excluded One," he pointed out.
"In our days, great hope is awakened in the Church by the astonishing flowering of ecclesial movements and new communities," he said.
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Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko pointed out that ecclesial movements and communities are the "true and proper sources of the 'new style' of collaboration between pastors and laity in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church."
Your parish can become this type of community!
This is "a great opportunity, a precious resource of renewal for our parish communities," the Cardinal said.
If your parish is large, consider this: Cardinal Rylko said that in a culture of ecclesial teamwork, the "risk of anonymity" can be "effectively contrasted by a micro-structure of small Christian communities that live the faith with intensity."
These communities, he clarified, "do not put themselves in competition with the parish, and even less so, are they an alternative to the parish. Rather, they represent a great pastoral possibility to be received -- because every environment in which 'adult' Christians are formed, aware of their own vocation and mission, serves the cause of the Church and of the parish."
"Hence," the Cardinal continued, "from her ministers the Church expects sensitivity, openness and cordial reception of these new realities which bear -- in the life of so many Christian communities -- truly blessed fruits of conversion, holiness and mission."
In his concluding remarks, he said referred to ecclesial teamwork as "the challenge of a Church courageously projected toward new frontiers of evangelization. In this, our time, the Church truly needs to open herself to this novelty generated by the Spirit."