Pope Francis during the conference (Photo: Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life)

"So that the Church may be a true people"

"Pastors and Lay Faithful Called to go Forward Together". The conference organised by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, also addressed to delegates from movements and associations. The words of Pope Francis and Cardinal Farrell.

There is a "responsibility that stems from baptism and that unites us all.” And there is the “need for adequate training so that this shared responsibility is actually practised." These were the words of Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, in introducing the International Conference "Pastors and Lay Faithful Called to go Forward Together," which began last February 16 in Rome and that engaged more than 200 pastors and lay people from episcopal commissions for the laity and delegates from international Associations of the Faithful for three days, from 20 countries.

Participating for the Fraternity of CL were Vice President Cesare Pozzoli, and for Memores Domini, Special Pontifical Delegate Monsignor Filippo Santoro, who spoke in plenary discussions. "Everyone in the Church must be an active ‘subject’: all are called to bring their original contribution to the life and mission of the Church, and all are called to think for themselves and make use of their respective charisms."

A "People" Church, then, as Pope Francis emphasized in his speech at the close of the conference: "The path that God is indicating to the Church is precisely that of a more intense and concrete experience of communion and journeying together. He asks the Church to leave behind ways of acting separately, on parallel tracks that never meet. Clergy separated from laity, consecrated persons from clergy and the faithful; the intellectual faith of certain elites separated from the faith of ordinary people; the Roman Curia from the particular Churches, bishops from priests; young people from the elderly, spouses and families disengaged from the life of the communities, charismatic movements separated from parishes, and so forth. This is the worst temptation at the present moment. The Church still has a long way to go to live as a body, as a true people united by the same faith in Christ the Saviour, enlivened by the same Spirit of holiness and directed to the same mission of proclaiming the merciful love of God our Father."


The words of Pope Francis

Address of Cardinal Kevin Farrell

The main texts from the conference