Salta (Fides Service) - Guidelines for lay participation the Church, in civil society and politics were contained in conclusions issued following a Laity Congress organised by the archdiocese of Salta in Argentina 12-13 November 2005 on the theme “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world”. The partial conclusions drafted by various work groups will be examined and discussed in view of a final Congress document to be released in May this year.
The guidelines encourage the laity to be active in civil society to “reach people, restore their faith and hope, use human and spiritual resources to improve situations”. They should help people realise that Christians have a duty to help brothers and sisters who suffer; to be more aware of the value of life; promote all round education; strengthen and support the role of the family. To harness the powerful modern means of communications to promote human dignity and in the Church mission of evangelisation.
With regard to lay activity in politics, the Congress stressed the need to guarantee justice to ensure social peace all over the country; encourage participation of lay Catholics in politics; foster study of the Social Doctrine of the Church; promote dialogue, respect, honesty and courageous action to denounce corruption knowing that political action must be based on the values of social justice, the common good and peace; political activity which supports Christian ethics and morals.
The Congress also discussed the role of the laity in the Church and the importance of living the faith more consistently and handing it on to younger generations. Goals identified included: more adequate means for evangelising children and young people; promote awareness of the dignity of the human person, man and woman, in view of matrimony; organise counselling days for couples in crisis to prevent separation and divorce and specific pastoral care for divorcees; increase awareness of the missionary Church in families and society; promote deeper inculturation of the Gospel in every environment. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 13/1/2006 - righe 30, parole 401)