Sentire cum ecclesia: Laity and the call to holiness in papal and local theologies

Hai, Peter NV Lay people have always played a vital role in the life and mission of the church but it is only after the Second Vatican Council that the question of the laity has come into focus in a new way in Catholic theological reflection. Indeed, in the wake of Vatican II, the council that introduced a Copernican shift in the Catholic understanding of the laity, lay people have become the theme of a Synod of Bishops, the subject of an Apostolic Exhortation, and the topic of several pastoral statements of national conferences of bishops. This paper begins with a review of the state of the question highlighting the need for a comparative investigation of the theologies of the laity according to John Paul II, the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, and the Vietnamese Episcopal Conference. It then highlights the differences and convergences in these theologies. As all three theologies draw their inspiration from the teachings of Vatican II, and a prominent element of the council's concerns was the emphasis on the universal call to holiness, we will also provide a detailed comparison of this notable aspect across these theological systems. Our argument is that while some minor points of divergence and disagreement remain there is a greater convergence and agreement between these theologies of the laity
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