are a privileged partner and the light and soul of society,” said the
Vatican’s Cardinal Renato Martino, speaking on the role of lay people
in the Church during this week’s gathering of the Kolping movement in
Cardinal Martino, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, addressed 39 delegates of the Kolping general council yesterday, referring to the “social heritage of the Church as an orientation for the action of Christians in the world.”
He also pointed out the “urgent need to evangelize society according to the requirements of the Church’s social teaching and heritage.”
As evidence of this, Cardinal Martino developed the essential element which is the compendium of the Social Heritage of the Church, elaborated under his overseeing.
“The lay are the privileged partner of the Compendium,” he said, “they are directly present, where the organized secular and social life is; in the realm of the economy, politics, work, and media.”
“They have to deal directly with secular reality, they are therefore the bearers of the practical social heritage of the Church,” he added.
The Cardinal later expressed his wishes that the Compendium would bring maturity to those in positions of responsibility, and enable them to be witnesses in society.
Likewise, he listed a number of challenges which Christians face in society. “It is up to Christian lay to protect the value of the family, and to reinforce the relation between ethics and economy. We have the increasing feeling that economy alone, without ethics is not enough.”
Cardinal Martino conceded that if “Good willing persons take up responsibility positions, in politics, the economy and culture, we would succeed in making this world a better place.”
The Kolping is a Catholic international social organization, which uses education and activities to promote the development of its members in the fields of daily life.