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What we have in today’s Church, as you well know, is a lot of darkness. Evidence that the devil has infiltrated our Church — through heresies that are being preached from pulpits (possibly even by Pope Francis), clergy who are sexually molesting minors, and we have recently found out that there have been clergy in the seminaries who have been abusing seminarians and increasing the homosexual lifestyle. And there are other ways I’ve shared in in previous episodes, all which have hurt the laity.
Now I would like to talk about what God is doing about this. In Matthew 25 Jesus talks about the separating of the sheep from the goats. I believe that’s what is happening now. I believe that’s what God is doing. It’s a time of making clear who is the shepherd and who is the wolf in shepherds’ clothing, who are the wolves that have been the devil’s instruments bringing darkness, bringing evil, increasing sin and promoting sin in the Church and trying to destroy the Church from within. That’s the devil’s plan: to destroy the Church from within, to drive people away from Christ by driving people away from the Church.
But God is bigger than that! That’s the good news that we need to remember. Jesus is still on the throne! God has a plan and it involves the laity.
This series uses the “Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity” from Vatican Council II to reveal how God plans to work through the lay faithful in the purification and healing of our Church and in the world that the devil has infected so thoroughly. Our mission has become extremely important!
Find the actual text of the Introduction of the Decree, below:
* Have you heard the introduction to this series? What is God doing in the Church Crisis?
DECREE ON THE APOSTOLATE OF THE LAITY
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS,
POPE PAUL VI
ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965
1. To intensify the apostolic activity of the people of God, the most holy synod earnestly addresses itself to the laity, whose proper and indispensable role in the mission of the Church has already been dealt with in other documents. The apostolate of the laity derives from their Christian vocation and the Church can never be without it. Sacred Scripture clearly shows how spontaneous and fruitful such activity was at the very beginning of the Church (cf. Acts 11:19-21; 18:26; Rom. 16:1-16; Phil. 4:3).
Our own times require of the laity no less zeal: in fact, modern conditions demand that their apostolate be broadened and intensified. With a constantly increasing population, continual progress in science and technology, and closer interpersonal relationships, the areas for the lay apostolate have been immensely widened particularly in fields that have been for the most part open to the laity alone. These factors have also occasioned new problems which demand their expert attention and study. This apostolate becomes more imperative in view of the fact that many areas of human life have become increasingly autonomous. This is as it should be, but it sometimes involves a degree of departure from the ethical and religious order and a serious danger to Christian life. Besides, in many places where priests are very few or, in some instances, deprived of due freedom for priestly work, the Church could scarcely exist and function without the activity of the laity.
An indication of this manifold and pressing need is the unmistakable work being done today by the Holy Spirit in making the laity ever more conscious of their own responsibility and encouraging them to serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances.
In this decree the Council seeks to describe the nature, character, and diversity of the lay apostolate, to state its basic principles, and to give pastoral directives for its more effective exercise. All these should be regarded as norms when the canon law, as it pertains to the lay apostolate, is revised.
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