Josemaría Escrivá Obras

The Decree 'Apostolicam Actuositatem', 5, clearly affirms that it is the mission of the whole Church to instil a Christian spirit in the temporal order. This mission therefore pertains to everyone: hierarchy, clergy, religious and laity. Could you tell us how you see the role and function of each of these sectors in the Church in this single common mission?

You will find, in fact, that the answer is given in the Council documents. The role of the hierarchy is to point out, as part of its Magisterium, the doctrinal principles which must preside over and illuminate the carrying out of this apostolic task (cf Constitution Lumen Gentium, 28; Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 43; Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, 24).

The immediate task of directly ordering temporal realities in the light of the doctrinal principles enunciated by the Magisterium corresponds specifically to the laity, who work immersed in all the circumstances and structures of secular life. But, at the same time, they must act with the necessary personal autonomy in making concrete decisions in their social, family, political and cultural life (cf. Constitution Lumen Gentium, 31; Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 43; Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, 7).

The mission of religious, who separate themselves from secular realities and activities to take up a particular state of life, is to give public eschatological witness, which helps to remind the rest of the faithful that the earth is not their permanent home (cf Constitution Lumen Gentium, 44; Decree Perfectae Charitatis, 5). The numerous works of charity and social welfare, which so many religious men and women carry out with a great spirit of self-sacrifice, also constitute a contribution towards instilling Christian spirit into the temporal order.

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