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Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity


Art.1 - Our times require...the apostolate of the laity be broadened and intensified....the Church could scarcely exist and function without the activity of the laity.

Art.3 - ...for the good of men and women and the building up of the Church ...in communion with their brothers and sisters in Christ, especially with their Pastors, all must make a judgement about the true nature and proper use of their gifts so as not to extinguish the Spirit , but to test all things and hold for what is good.

Art.4 - The laity should hold in high esteem...honesty, justice, sincerity, kindness and courage, without which no true Christian life can exist.

Art.10 - ...the laity with the right apostolic attitude supply what is lacking to their brethern, and refresh the spirit of Pastors and of the rest of the faithful. The laity should accustom themselves to working in the parish in union with their priests...by deliberating in common. As far as possible the laity ought to provide helpful collaboration for every apostolic and missionary undertaking sponsored by their local parish. They should develop an ever-increasing appreciation of their own Diocese.

Art.14 - Catholics should promote whatever is true, just, holy and loveable... hold discussions... initiate research ... on practices which should be improved in line with the spirit of the Gospel.

Art.18 - ...the faithful should participae in the apostolate by way of united effort... in their parishes and dioceses.

Art.19 - Some ...aim to evangelize and sanctify in a special way.

Art.20 b - Cooperating with the hierarchy in their own way, the laity contribute the benefit of their experience to , and assume responsibility for the direction of these organizations, the consideration of the conditions in which the pastoral activity of the Church is to be conducted, and the elaboration and execution of the plan of things to be done.

Art.22 - The Pastors of the Church should gladly and gratefully welcome devoted lay persons, and make sure the demands of justice, equity, and charity relative to their status be satisfied to the fullest extent, particulary as regards proper support for them and their families. They should also take care to provide for these lay people the necessary formation, spiritual consolation and incentive.

Art.23 - Indeed the spirit of unity should be promoted in order that fraternal charity may be resplendent in the whole apostolate of the Church, common goals may be attained , and destructive rivalries avoided.... the Church requires harmony and apostolic cooperation on the part of both branches of the Clergy, Religious and Laity.

Art.24 - The hierarchy should promote the apostolate of the Laity...and attend to the preservation of doctrine and order.

Art.25 - ...the laity must not be deprived of the possibility of acting on their own accord.

...Special care should be taken to select priests who are capable of promoting particular forms of the apostolate of the Laity, and are properly trained... adhering faithfully to the spirit and teaching of the Church,...promote proper relations between Laity and Hierarchy. ... Through continuous dialogue with the Laity, these priests should carefully investigate which forms make apostolic activity more fruiful.

Art.26 - In dioceses ... there should be councils which assist... the Laity.

Art.30 - ...(The Laity) should be so involved in the local community of the parish that they will acquire a consciousness of being living and active members of the people of God. Priests should focus their attention on the formation of the Laity...