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 Synod Initiative IV:

Ministry and Leadership: Lay, Consecrated Life and Ordained

Toward deeper commitment to witness, worship, and service. Baptism and Confirmation give each one a share in the Church’s witness, worship, and service for the good of its mission—the mission of Christ and of the Spirit—for the transformation of the world. Through Baptism all share in the witness, worship, and service of the Church. The call to ministry and leadership comes specifically from the grace of Baptism, and so there are many forms of ministry that pertain to the laity and are not restricted to clergy and religious. Indeed, “the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1547). This “baptismal grace of all” is the context within which all types of leadership in the Church—the vitally important priestly role of bishops and presbyters to build up and lead the Church as visible signs of its unity, the role of deacons ordained specifically for the service of charity, as well as the importance of the consecrated life as prophetic sign of the coming Reign of God, and committed lay leadership—are affirmed. What is called for in all exercises of ministry and leadership is collaboration with one another for the building of the one Body of Christ. With welltrained and deeply committed ordained and lay ministers and leaders in the Church, the Word will be effectively preached to our own faith communities, and inactive Catholics and non- Catholics will hear the Good News proclaimed with vigor and joy. This Word of God “is not a concept, a doctrine, or a program subject to free interpretation, but is before all else a person with the face and name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Redemptoris Missio, 18).

Pastoral Priority

On the Archdiocesan level, processes are to be established to ensure better collaboration and cooperation among the laity, religious, and clergy so that the laity can more effectively assume their baptismal responsibility in the mission of the Church.

Pastoral Strategies

A plan for the joint training of ordained and lay leaders, especially in processes of collaboration and shared decision making, is to be implemented.

A “school of ministry for laity” or its equivalent is to be established in each pastoral region to train parishioners for participation in a variety of parochial ministries.

Women are to be included on an equal basis in all aspects of Church leadership, administration, and ministry not otherwise restricted by Church doctrine. 

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