VI National Congress of the Apostolic Movement
  Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Speech: Miguel Delgado
Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity

Summary: 1. – Topicality of the new evangelization. 2. – The vocation proper to the lay faithful. 3. -The apostolate of the lay faithful as a participation in the saving mission of the Church. 4 -.Challenges that the new evangelization presents to the lay faithful.

  1. Topicality of the new evangelization

First of all, I wish to thank Dr Concetta Marraffa, President of the Apostolic Movement, for the kind invitation she made me to take part in the VI National Convention of this association of faithful. I also greet cordially Archbishop Vincent Bertolone, S. d P., metropolitan Archbishop of Catanzaro-Squillace, Mrs. Maria Marino, founder of the Apostolic Movement, as well as all of you, responsible and members of this ecclesial aggregation coming from all over Italy to participate in the work of the present convention.

I am pleased to note that the name of your movement is characterized by the adjective apostolic. It wants to show the real and concrete contribution of every Christian to the mission that Jesus entrusted to his Apostles, which is the one to lead all of mankind to God. All the baptized, without exception, can and must feel co-responsible of the apostolic mission, taking charge of evangelizing the nations, that is of incorporating them to the Church and of uniting them to Christ; and cooperating with the action of the Holy Spirit. In this regard, Eusebius of Caesarea, bishop in Palestine between the third and fourth centuries AD, considered to be the father of the church history, wrote: “What does evangelizing mean if not to bring to all men (…) the good news of the coming of Christ onto the earth?”[1]. 

 As you undoubtedly know, the question of God in the world today and the new evangelization are topics that are very dear to the Holy Father Benedict XVI. In 2010 he established a new ministry in the Roman Curia “in the form of a “Pontifical Council”, with the specific task of promoting a renewed evangelization in Countries where the first proclamation of the faith has already echoed, and churches of ancient foundation are present but are experiencing a progressive secularization of society and a kind of “eclipse of the sense of God”; which represent a challenge to find appropriate means to revive the perennial truth of the Gospel of Christ “[2].

 Last October, this same department has organized an international meeting in Rome, to which many faithful involved in the new evangelization intervened [3]. The participants were received in an audience by the Roman Pontiff in the Paul VI Room at the Vatican (October 15, 2011); and the following day, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in the Vatican Basilica, during which he announced the decision to hold, on the 50th anniversary of the opening of Second Vatican II, a special “Year of Faith” (October 11, 2012 – November 24, 2013), which he has illustrated in the Apostolic Letter Door of the faith (Portafidei) (October 11, 2011). From images of the hearing that the Pope has given to the so-called “new evangelizers” last 15 October, it is evident that the vast majority of them were faithful lay persons, many of whom belong to associations of faithful, ecclesial movements and new realities of lay origin cropping up in the Church during the twentieth century. From this fact one can immediately draw a first consideration: although the new evangelization is certainly a task for all members of the People of God – laity, priests and religious – it is also true that the lay faithful being significantly more numerous members in the ecclesial structure, the contribution they can give to the mission of evangelization is indeed crucial. Rather, I would dare say that without the active contribution of the lay faithful – and particularly of young people – it would not be possible to face up to the new evangelization to which Benedict XVI calls all of us. Indeed, “a layman reached by the Gospel, living alongside others, can infect other two; these, other four, and as lay Christians are not just some tens of thousands like the clergy, but hundreds of millions; they can really play a decisive role in spreading worldwide the beneficial light of the Gospel “[4]. In this regard, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko says: “The work of evangelization of the laity, in fact, is already changing the life of the Church, and this is a great sign of hope for the Church” [5].

 During the meeting with the new evangelizers to which I referred earlier, the Pope wanted to point out that, even though modern man often feels confused and cannot find deep answers to many questions on fundamental issues of the existence, and though frequently he is satisfied with a surrogate happiness, that cannot fill his heart in a lasting way, “as in early Christianity (…) the word of God continues to grow and spread'[6]. How come this happens? The Pope has identified three reasons that can be considered the “compass” to guide us properly to the new evangelization:

“The first is that the power of the Word does not depend primarily on our action, our means, our “doing”, but on God, who hides his power under the signs of weakness, which is present in the morning breeze(cf. 1 Kings19:12), which reveals itself on the wood of the Cross. We must always believe in the humble power of the Word of God and allow God to act! The second reason is because the seed of the Word, as recounted in the Gospel parable of the Sower; even today still falls into good soil that receives it and produces fruit (cf. Mtfrom 13.3 to 9). And the new evangelizers are a part of this field that allows the Gospel to grow in abundance and to transform the personal and thelives of others.In the world, even if evil makesmore noise, the good soil continues on existing. Thethird reason is thatthe announcement of the Gospelis reallycometo the endsof the world andevenin the midst ofindifference, misunderstanding, and persecutions, manycontinue even today, with courage, to open their hearts and minds to welcome the invitation of Christ to meet him and become his disciples. They do not make noise, but they are like the mustard seed that becomes a tree, the yeast that ferments the dough, the grain of wheat that is broken to give rise to the ear. All this, if on the one hand it brings comfort and hope because it shows the continuing ferment that animates the missionary Church; on the other, it must fill all with a renewed sense of responsibility to the Word of God and the spreading of the Gospel “[7].

 And, later in his speech, Benedict XVI has pointed out that “the world of today needs people who speak to God, to be able to speak of God” [8]. From these considerations of the Holy Father can be determined, first of all, that the new evangelization is neither reducible to a slogan, which even though it is attractive it remains devoid of content, nor to a common place, nor much less to an abstract concept. The new evangelization is, to quote the words of the Pope, “a renewal of an authentic Christian life based on the teachings of the Church” [9].

In second place, the prayer must hold the primacy on the action. Only who tries to live in a relationship of deep friendship with God and his Word is able to evangelize effectively. Already in his first encyclical, (Deus Caritas Est) God is charity, Benedict XVI pointed out that “at the basis of being Christian there is not an ethical choice or a great idea, but the encounter with an event, with a Person, that gives life a new horizon and with it adecisive direction”(No.1).

Thirdly, the commitment to the new evangelization calls for the need to aspire to holiness. In fact, the Holy Father on several occasions and in various ways explained that the changes in institutions and individuals are promoted right by the saints: “The blessed and the saints were people who did not obstinately seek their own happiness, but simply wanted to give themselves because they were reached by the light of Christ. They show us the way to become happy, they show us how we are able to become truly human persons. In the vicissitudes of history, they were the true reformers who so often they have rescued it from the dark valleys where it is always in danger of falling again; they have always re-illuminated what it was necessary in order to give the possibility to accept – even in pain – the word uttered by God at the end of the work of creation: “It is good ‘” [10]. This means that evangelization does not come from “doing” [11], or from the achievement of a “technique”, although it is important to reflect continuously on what is the more educational way of transmitting the faith in every circumstance and of acquiring the necessary training . But what really matters is the personal commitment of every Christian to become a saint. Consequently, there is an inseparable link between personal holiness and evangelization, since every baptized person is called not only to identify with Jesus, but also to transmit to others the supernatural life, as a result of his identification with Christ’s priesthood.

As it is known, blessed John Paul II was the one to coin the expression”new evangelization” [12], and he developedthis conceptfor the first time[13] to the bishopsof Latin Americagatheredin the assemblyof theLatin AmericaBishops’ Council(CELAM) March 9, 1983in Port-au-Prince (Haiti). The Pope, in view of the fifth centenary of the discovery of America and of the beginning of its evangelization, evoking the evangelizing work of the Church in Latin America, said: “The commemoration of the half millennium of evangelization will achieve its full meaning if it is one of your commitments as Bishops, together with your Presbytery and your faithful; surely not a commitment of a re-evangelization, but of a new evangelization. New in its ardour, in its methods and its expressions” [14]. Continuing in the same line, John Paul II wanted to point out the fundamental premises for the new evangelization. The first referred to the ordained ministers. In fact, he was convinced that at the gates of the third Christian millennium, the Church in Latin America needed a new impetus, which would not have been possible without the convocation of many well prepared priests. For John Paul II to awaken new vocations to the priesthood and to form them properly in their spiritual, doctrinal and pastoral dimensions was of crucial importance. As a second aspect, he wanted to refer to the need to train lay persons capable of working effectively in the evangelizing mission of the Church. 

The commitment to a new evangelization was also one of the main issues that faced John Paul II on 12 October 1984 at the Olympic Stadium in Santo Domingo, in his message addressed to the Church and the Latin American peoples, on the occasion of the inauguration of the celebrations in preparation of the fifth centenary of the beginning of the evangelization of America [15].

John Paul II gave an extensive and detailed explanation of the expression “new evangelization”, in the second part of the opening address at the Fourth General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate, always pronounced in Santo Domingo, October 12, 1992 [16]. On that occasion, the Pope pointed out that with this term he desired to awaken a new passion and solicit new evangelizing commitments in America and around the world. Warning about the “reductive Christologies”, which cannot be accepted as tools for the new evangelization, he wanted to explain that the novelty of such an evangelization does not concern the Gospel message, which is rooted in Christ and, therefore, as the Holy Father wanted to clarify, “it must be preached in full fidelity and purity, just as it has been preserved and transmitted by the Tradition of the Church. Evangelizing means announcing a person, which is Christ” [17]. But “the novelty of the evangelizing action we have mentioned concerns    ̶ the Pope explained    ̶ the attitude, style, effort and planning or, as he proposed in Haiti, the ardour, methods and expression. A new evangelization in its ardour requires a strong faith, an intense pastoral charity and a great loyalty, which, under the action of the Spirit, generate a mystique, an irrepressible enthusiasm in the task of announcing the Gospel. (…) The truth of Christ must enlighten the minds and hearts with the active, tireless and public proclamation of the Christian values. On the other hand, the new times demand that the Christian message arrives to the man of today through new methods of apostolate, and that it is expressed in a language and in forms accessible to the Latin American man, in need of Christ, and thirsting for the Gospel: how to make accessible, penetrating, profound and effective the answer to today’s man, without in any way altering or modifying the contents of the Gospel message? How to get to the heart of the culture that we want to evangelize? How to talk about God in a world in which there is a growing process of secularization? “[18]. These incisive questions asked by the Bishop of Rome almost twenty years ago challenge us today, I would even say that they do with a greater intensity, because the challenges of today are even more pressing.

2.The vocation proper to the lay faithful

It is very significant that the theme of the call to the new evangelization also emerges in a document of John Paul II that deals specifically with the vocation and mission of the lay faithful in the Church and the world. I mean the Post-Synodal Exhortation Christi fideles lay people (December 30, 1988), along which numerous references to the new evangelization are traced [19]. In n. 64,for example, the last of the document, it reads: “A great, challenging and wonderful task is entrusted to the Church: that of a newevangelization, which the present worldis so much in need of. Thelay faithful must feela living and responsible part of this enterprise, called, as they are, to proclaim and live the Gospel in service to the values ​​and needs of the individual and society. ” 

 In considering the role that belongs to the laity in the new evangelization, it becomes necessary to face the question of the theological identity of the lay faithful and of the vocation which is proper to him in the Church and the world [20]. The question of the laity constitutes one of the major themes of Vatican Council II. Chapter IV of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium (December 7, 1965) [21] and the Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, on the apostolate of the lay persons (November 18, 1965); are dedicated to it. Similarly, several references are found also in other Council documents, such as the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes [22], on the Church in the modern world and the Decree Ad Gentes [23], on the Church’s missionary activity.

 In Lumen Gentium it is stressed that the full and active participation of the lay faithful in the life of the Church finds its basis in the sacrament of Baptism[24], from which aradical equalityof allbelievers arises. Therefore, the lay faithfulare called to contribute, intheir condition, to the only missionof the whole Church. ThroughBaptism, they participatein the prophetic,priestly androyal mission of JesusChrist[25]. According tothe ecclesiologyof VaticanII, the conditionof the lay faithfulis not characterizedby the exclusionof acall (lay faithful arethose whoare neitherpriestsnor religious) [26]; but their identity constitutes a specific way of beingin the Churchand the world. In fact, in Lumen Gentium it is read: “With the term laity, here it is meant all Christians with the exclusion of – priests – the members of the holy orders, and of the religious state ratified in the Church; that is, the faithful persons, who,after having beenincorporatedto Christ with baptism, and constitutedpeopleof God and,in theirown way, made to sharein the priestly, prophetic and kingly mission ofChrist, for their part, fulfill, in the Church and the world, the mission proper to all the Christian people”(No. / 31a).As you can see, the description of the identity of the  lay faithful contained in the Lumen Gentium is eminently positive: it bases the dignity of the mission entrusted to the laity in the sacrament of Baptism and specifies their participation in the tria munera, in the area of the functions whichare proper to their stateof lifein the Churchand the world.

 Then. 31 of Lumen Gentium continues in this way: “The secular character is properand peculiar tothe laity. (…) Fortheir very vocation it is proper of thelaity to seek thekingdom ofGod by treating temporal affairs andordering themaccording to God. They live in time, that is involvedin allthe differentduties andjobsof the world andin the ordinary circumstancesoffamily and social lifeofwhich their existenceis like interwoven.There they arecalled by Godto contribute, as from withinlike leaven, to the sanctificationof the worldby exercising their own officeunder the guidanceof the evangelical spirit;and therebymake Christ known toothers mainly by the witnessof theirown lives and with brightness of their faith, hope and charity. Therefore, it is up to themparticularlyto illuminate and orderall temporal things, whichare closelylinked to, so that they aremadeand ​​constantly may growaccording to Christand they are occasion of praise tothe Creator andRedeemer “(no. 31 /b).

 The taskof the lay faithfulis tobe witnessesof theGospel and, consequently, to sanctifythe worldin the ordinary circumstancesof life[27]. The lay faithful areordinary Christians, menand women, who live theirvocation in the world, under differentcircumstancesand situationsin whichthere are, not carrying out extraordinary actions, but ratherperformingtheirordinary dutiesin anextraordinary way. It mustbe clear enough that, since the world wascreated byGod, it cannotbeconsidered anobstacle tothe attainmentof the Christian perfection;itis preciselythe placewhere the lay faithful are calledto sanctify themselvesby virtueof the vocationwhich is proper to them. Therefore, the worldmustbeconsidered the”theological place” of the lay faithful[28]. The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christi fideles laity develops these teachings around the lay condition and secular character of the lay faithful in nos. 15-17.In the wordsof blessedJohn PaulII, the lay faithful”are people who livean ordinary life inthe world; theystudy, work, and establish friendly, social, professional, and cultural relationships, etc..” (Ch L, n. 15 /g). It is right inthesedifferentareasthat developsthe lifeof the lay faithful, where they are called tobecome the saltof the earth andlight of the world[29], yeast of new life.

Regarding themutual relationshipbetween the Churchand the world, the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes says: “the Church, that is at together” a visible society and a spiritual community”goes forward with all of humanity and experiments together with the worldthe same earthly lot; she is likeleaven, and almost the soulof human society destined to renovate herself in Christ and to be transformedinto God’s family” (40 /b). It is interesting to note that the Gaudium et Spes uses these two images, one material and the other spiritual of theyeastand soul. The lay faithfulare in theworld as the leaven is in the dough, and together they become one only thing[30]. This image is reminiscent of a famous phrase from the Letter to Diognetus, an anonymous work of apologetics in the second century, written in order to defend the Christian faith, “as the soul isin the body, soare theChristiansin the world” [31] .The author ofthis letterhighlightsaperennial message: the Christian muststrive for holinessin the world, illuminating the whole of creationwith the lightof Christ. In fact, The world needs to be sanctifiedfromwithin with thetestimony ofthe holy lifeof Christians. Onlythe Christian wholiveswith integritythe message of theGospelis ableto permeate theworld with the spiritof Christin the differentareasof human existence.

  1. The apostolateof the lay faithfulas a participationin the saving missionof the Church

The right and duty of the lay faithful to participate in the saving mission of the Church has its foundation in the dignity of the theological life. That is hoe the n. 33 of Lumen Gentium treats this theme: “therefore, the apostolate of the laity is a participation in the very saving mission of the Church: to this apostolate they are all bound by the Lord himself through Baptism and Confirmation. Then by the sacraments, and especially the Holy Eucharist, that charity toward God and men which is the soul of all the apostolate is communicated and alimented”[32​​]. Therefore, the three sacraments of Christian initiation are found at the basis of the evangelizing mission of the lay faithful.

This apostolate is neither a concession nor a mandate from the ecclesiastical hierarchy [33], but proceeds from the sending that the Lord addresses to the apostles: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” [34]. This task is not merely occasional, but it is ordinary, and on ongoing basis. The lay faithful are subjects responsible for the apostolic action of the Church, and it is the duty of the hierarchy to promote all forms of the apostolate of the laity. The n. 33 of Lumen Gentium is concluded by stating that “The exalted duty of working, bears heavily upon all the laity, so that every day the divine plan of salvation reaches more and more all men of all times and of all the earth. Therefore, let any way be opened to them, so that according to their abilities and needs of the times, they also actively participate in the saving work of the Church.”

The apostolate of the lay faithful is absolutely essential in the Church because it contributes to make the message of Jesus Christ reach all professional, social, cultural, political, and economic spheres, etc.. The lay faithful has the right make Christ present there where he is at all times of his life, both personally and in an associated form [35]. In this sense, the great flowering of lay associations, arisen during the twentieth century, which have as their goal the one of contributing to make the lay faithful aware of their call to holiness and apostolate; is to be appreciated. These new realities  ̶  many of them are international and are recognized by the Apostolic See after due verification of their ecclesialness   ̶  deserve to be valued and welcomed with cordiality and paternity in the particular Churches on the part of the Shepherds of the Church, since through their specific charismas, contribute to give apostolic dynamism in the diocese, and the fruits of this evangelizing action remains in them [36].

 We must not lose sight that the universal call to the apostolate is intimately united to the universal call to holiness in the Church [37]; it is for this reason that holiness and apostolate cannot be separated. John Paul II wrote that the true missionary is the saint [38], and at the beginning of the new millennium he proposed the Christian holiness as the “”high measure” of the ordinary Christian life” [39].

Another aspect to be considered is the Christian education of the lay faithful. In the present circumstances we cannot but see a great need for doctrinal training, that may nourish the life of Catholics and make them capable of giving reason of the hope to the men and women of our times[40], with charity, courage, respect and a right conscience. A comprehensive education that will affect the Christian life, aimed at shaping trained people, true disciples of Christ that live their faith with a strong unity of life between what they believe and what they say and do every day; is required. Such training, as a process must be continuous: it must continue for a lifetime. Presently, we have powerful tools for this purpose, such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. It is very significant that since the beginning of his pontificate, Benedict XVI continually urges the study of these texts in order to nourish the faith of God’s people and to be able to transmit it in its entirety.

 The Gospel message must be brought by the faithful in all areas of society. On the other hand, there are some areas that urgently call for a renewed apostolic commitment [41], as are the promotion of the dignity of the person at all levels; the defense of human life from conception to its natural death; the protection of the family based on marriage between a man and a woman; the protection of religious freedom; the defense of freedom of education and the right of parents to choose educational institutions that offer training in agreement with their moral convictions, as well as the right to receive proper economic support on the part of the State; the promotion of the service of charity towards the neighbor; the Christian animation of the political, economic and social life; the creation and transmission of an authentic culture, and the evangelization of the means of social communication, etc..

  1. Challenges that the new evangelization presents to the lay faithful
    Without having any claim to be exhaustive, I wish to present some challenges that, in my opinion, the new evangelization proposes to the lay faithful. They are called to transmit the  faith, in the same way as the priests and the religious persons. First, in order to achieve this goal it is essential that each one of them has a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, who is not a any character in the history of humanity, but rather the son of the living God [42]. The encounter with Christ and the deep friendship that derives from it transforms the life of the Christian who finds himself be led by the life of the grace; and it opens unexpected perspectives of relationship with God. This relationship with Jesus Christ must be lived in the Church and alimented by the Eucharist.

Secondly, it should propose to the faithful lay back with conviction that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life. In the Church there are many paths to holiness of life, and each must find his faithful with God’s help and mediation of the Church. Only those who aspire to become a saint can be an evangelist. On this spiritual journey we must consider the world a positive reality, precisely because output from the hands of God [43], and rediscover the vocation of the lay faithful are called to seek holiness in the world and bring the world to God, as taught by the Council Vatican II.


When we speak of vocation in the Church, we must not only understand the Lord’s call to ordained ministry or consecrated life, but we must also include the lay vocation, which is not simply to “get” what it is by virtue of the sacrament of baptism, it is a specific vocation that challenges the recipient to become progressively more aware of what is involved in being a faithful layman, and to learn all the riches of the sacraments of Christian initiation, where is the source of all vocations in Church.

 Another challenge, perhaps the most impressive is that the leadership of the lay faithful and the inherently missionary sense of faith in all the baptized. The lay faithful are irreplaceable to proclaim Christ in the perspective of the new evangelization. So it is important to inspire in them the enthusiasm of faith and train them so that they are apostles and communicate the Gospel and the beauty of being Christians in all the environments in which they live, encouraging people to put God at the center of their lives.

The continuous Christian formation of the lay faithful must accompany this process, training in the teaching of the Church that encourages them to become evangelists. Special emphasis is given to young generation, for which they should invest their best resources. In this regard, Benedict XVI has described the last World Youth Day, Madrid2011, as “a new evangelization lived”[44].


To effectively bring the Christian message is required, as specified above, living units, in other words, the consistency between their beliefs and actions. Only the correlation between faith and works makes the lay faithful and credible witnesses of the truth of God

Considering that the Church in various states of life are complementary, the laity They need the pastoral ministry of priests. From this it is therefore necessary that the priest continually renew his spiritual life [45] and fosters vocations to holy orders. The more you spread the apostolate of the laity, the more you feel the urgent need for priests who are well trained in all aspects (doctrinal, spiritual, pastoral, etc..), Which is not content with merely a “pastoral maintenance “, but who aspire to a ministry of evangelization [46]. The sacred ministers are to remain in the service of the laity, that the common priesthood of the faithful, so that they can to accomplish their mission in the Church and the world.


I walk towards the conclusion. At the end of November of 2011, the cardinal archbishop of Krakow has made ​​a gift of a relic of Blessed John Paul II to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, which is currently preserved in the chapel of the department. It seems significant to read, here, a passage from the letter of Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who accompanied the delivery of the relic, “The Blood of the shrine of John Paul II” Do not be afraid! “Is the work of Charles Balljana. Master Balljana, widely known by critics as the official sculptor of the wind, was driven to do the shrine dedicated to the Blessed John Paul II from the scene of the funeral of the Pope in 2005. On the coffin of the Holy Father was laid open to the Gospel. Suddenly it hit, as was the day of Pentecost, a wind so strong, only the esplanade in front of the Basilica, as if to close the book with the death of the Pontiff had closed a new phase of evangelization. The artist wants to present but the future of the mission of the Pope: the Gospel has reopened for the new evangelization”[47]. 

Thank you for your attention. 

[1] Eusebius, Commentary on the Prophet Isaiah, 40:PG 24, 367.

[2] Benedict XVI, Homily during the first Vespers of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, “Teachings of Benedict XVI,” VI, 1 2010, 987.Withthe Motu Proprio “Ubicumque et semper” (September 21, 2010) has been established the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization: AAS102(2010), 788-792; ID., Light of the World: The Pope and the Church signs of the Times. A Conversation with Peter Seewald, Vatican City 2010, 87.

[3] From7 to 28 October2012 if held the XIII General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, with the title “The new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith.”Its Lineamenta, divided into three chapters: Time for “new evangelization,” Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Christian Begin, were presented March 4, 2011, “L’Osservatore Romano,” March 5, 2011, 6 -12.

[4] R.CANTALAMESSA, Fourth Advent Sermon at the Vatican(December 23, 2011), “L’Osservatore Romano”

5] S.RYŁKO, Laity for the new evangelization, “L’Osservatore Romano,” September 21, 2011, 8.

[6] Benedict XVI, Address during meeting with the new preachers(October 15, 2010), “L’Osservatore Romano”, 17-18 October 2010, 7.

[7] Ibid. A similar reflection is contained in the report of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, held December 10, 2000, at the conference of the catechists and religion teachers sponsored by the Congregation for the Clergy, “L’Osservatore Romano”, 11-12 December 200011.

[8] Ibid.

[9] BENEDICTXVI, Address to the bishops of New Zealand and the Pacific on a visit” ad limina Apostolorum” (December 17, 2011), “L’Osservatore Romano”, December 18, 2011, 12.

[10] id., Prayer Vigilat Marienfeld (XX World Youth Day, Cologne, August 20, 2005), “L’Osservatore Romano”, 22-23 August 2005, 6;J.Ratzinger-BenedictXVI, Saints. The authentic apologists of the Church, Turin 2007.

[11] S.RYŁKO, the new evangelization, between being and doing. The important contribution of the ecclesial movements and new communities( / content/ laity/en /top /presidente.html).

[12] See E.FRANCHINI, O.CATTANI(eds.), New Evangelization: discussion, proposals, Bologna1990;G.Carriquiry, Desafíos de la nueva evangelización, a la luz de Juan Pablo II of the magisterium, “Theology catequesisy’, 33-34 (1990), 9-28; ID., Los Laicos y la nueva evangelización. Apuntes desde la “Christi fideles laity”, 1996Lima, P. Giglioni, The concept of anew evangelization in the teaching, en ‘Seminarium”, 31(1991), 35-56; H.LEGRAND(dir.), The bishops of Europe and the new evangelization,CasaleMonferrato1991;JLIllanes, Desafíos teológicos de la nueva evangelización: en el tercer horizonte of Milenio, Madrid 1999; J. Ratzinger, the new evangelization, “L’Osservatore Romano”, 11-12 December 2000, 11;A.MONROY, Los desafíos de la Nueva Evangelización, “Scripta Theologica”, 38/2(2006), 651-670; R.PELLITERO, Ser Iglesia hacienda el mundo: los Laicos en la Nueva Evangelización, San Jose, 2007; F.SEBASTIAN, Evangelizar, Madrid 2010; R.FISICHELLA, the new evangelization. A challenge to get out of indifference, Milan, 2011.

[13] John Paul II made the first reference to anew evangelization in the sanctuary of the Holy Cross in Mogila (Nowa Huta), June 9, 1979, during his first apostolic trip to Poland, “Teachings of John Paul II’, II/1(1979), 1504-1509.[14] JOHNPAULII, Address to the XIX General Assembly of CELAM, “Teachings of John Paul II,” VI/1 (1983), 698.

[15] See id., Message for the opening of the novena of years promoted by CELAM, “Teachings of John Paul II,” VII/2 (1984), 885-897.

[16] See id., Opening Address to the Fourth General Conference of Latin American, “Teachings of John Paul II”, XV /2 (1992), 317-323.

[17] Ibid., 319.

[18] Ibid., 321.

[19] JOHNPAULII, Apostolic Exhortation. Exhortation. Christi fideles laity, nn. 4, 30, 34, 35, 49.

[20] See P.RODRÍGUEZ, The theology of the laity identidad, A.SARMIENTO, T.RINCÓN, J. M. Yanguas, A. Quiros (dir.), The Lay of the Misiónen la Iglesia y en el mundo, Actas VIII of Theology Symposium Internacional de la Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona1987,71-111.

[21] See LG, nn. 30-38, G.PHILIPS, The Church and its mystery: history, text and commentary on the Constitution” Lumen Gentium”, 19935 Milano, 341-388. For a more detailed study of the evolution of different patterns of this conciliar document, vid. F.GIL Hellin, Constitutio de Ecclesia dogmatic “Lumen Gentium”, Vatican City1995.

[22] GS, nn. 43 y 62.

[23] See AG, nn. 15, 19, 20, 21, 23, 26 y 41.

[24] See también AA, n. 3, A. THE PORTILLO, laity and faithful in the Church. The basis of their legal status, Milan 19992, 100-104.

[25] See F. Ocariz, The participation of the laity in the mission of the Church, “Annales Theologici ‘, 1 (1987), 7-26.

[26] The Code of Canon Law of 1983 (CIC), dedicated to specific rights and duties of the lay faithful eight canons, which are collected in the teachings of Vatican II on the subject (cc. 224-231). Instead, the Code of Canon Law of 1917 dedicated their only two canons, one of which-the c. 683 – related to the prohibition of the use of clerical by lay faithful!

[27] See R. Lanzetti, the secular character of the lay faithful’s second post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Christifideles laity”, “Annales Theologici”, 3/1 (1989), 35-51; JL Illanes, The secularidad como element especificador de la condición laical, M. GÓMEZ WAR (dir.), the secular VocaciónMisión y en la Iglesia y en el mundo, Burgos 1987, 277-300.

[28] See BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (November 15, 2008), “Teachings of Benedict XVI”, IV / 2 (2008), 672; JL Illanes, y Santidad Mundo, Madrid 1984.

[29] See Matthew 5, 13-14.

[30] See Matthew 13, 33 and Luke 13, 21.

[31] Epist. Diognetum to 6, 1: Funk 1, 400.

[32] See G. PHILIPS, The Church and its mystery, cit., 359.

[33] n. 33 / c of Lumen Gentium refers to another form of apostolate, which proceeds by a direct mandate of the church hierarchy, and that is configured as an instant collaboration with the pastors of the Church.

[34] Mk 16, 15. The Gospel of St. Matthew contains similar words of the Lord: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28, 19).

[35] See CIC, cc. 211 and 225.

[45] See D. Tettamanzi, the spiritual life of the priest. Pastoral letter to priests of the Church of Genoa, Casale Monferrato, 2002; M. PIACENZA, The Seal: Christ, the source of the priest, Siena 2010.

[46] See BENEDICT XVI, Apostolic. ap. Verbum Domini, n. 95.

[47] S. DZIWISZ, April 26, 2011 Letter.

[36] See John PaulII, Enc. Redemptoris Missio (7 December 1990), no.72.

[37] See LG, Chapter V.

[38] See John PaulII, Enc. Redemptoris Missio, n. 90.

[39] id., Apostolic. Novo Millennium Ineunte (January 6, 2001), no.31 /c.

[40] See 1 Peter3: 15.

[41] Cf. JOHNPAULII, Apostolic Exhortation. Exhortation. Christi fideles laity, nn. 37-44.

[42] See Matthew16, 16.

[43] See Genesis1, 31.

[44] BENEDICTXVI, Address to the Cardinals, the Roman Curia and the Pontifical Family, for the presentation of Christmas greetings(December 22, 2011), “L’Osservatore Romano”, December 23, 2011, 8.