Participation in Christ's prophetic office
904 "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 [sensus fidei] and the grace of the word"438
To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer.439
905 Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, "that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony 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."440
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 the faithful.441
906 Lay people who are capable and trained may also collaborate in catechetical formation, in teaching the sacred sciences, and in use of the communications media.442
907 "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 morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons."443
Participation in Christ's kingly office
908 By his obedience unto death,444 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 themselves":445
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.446
909 "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 value."447
910 "The laity can also feel called, or be in fact called, to cooperate with their pastors in the service of the ecclesial community, 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 them."448
911 In the Church, "lay members of the Christian faithful can cooperate in the exercise of this power [of governance] in accord with the norm of law."449 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.450
912 The faithful should "distinguish carefully between the rights and the duties which they have as belonging to the Church and those which fall to them as members of the human society. They will strive to unite the two harmoniously, remembering that in every temporal affair they are to be guided by a Christian conscience, since no human activity, even of the temporal order, can be withdrawn from God's dominion."451
913 "Thus, every person, through these gifts given to him, is at once the witness and the living instrument of the mission of the Church itself 'according to the measure of Christ's bestowal."'452
430 LG 31.
431 LG 31 § 2.
432 Pius XII, Discourse, February 20, 1946:AAS 38 (1946) 149; quoted by John Paul II, CL 9.
433 Cf. LG 33.
434 LG 34; cf. LG 10, 1 Pet 2:5.
435 CIC, can. 835 § 4.
436 Cf. CIC, can. 230 § 1.
437 CIC, can. 230 § 3.
438 LG 35.
439 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh. III,71,4 ad 3.
440 LG 35 § 1, § 2.
441 AA 6 § 3; cf. AG 15.
442 Cf. CIC, cann. 229; 774; 776; 780; 823 § 1.
443 CIC, can. 212 § 3.
444 Cf. Phil 2:8-9.
445 LG 36.
446 St. Ambrose, Psal. 118:14:30:PL 15:1476.
447 LG 36 § 3.
448 Paul VI, EN 73.
449 CIC, can. 129 § 2.
450 Cf. CIC, cann. 443 § 4; 463 §§ 1 and 2; 492 § 1; 511; 517 § 2; 536; 1421 § 2.
451 LG 36 § 4.
452 LG 33 § 2; cf. Eph 4:7.