The Nature and Missionary Role of the Lay People in the Light of Vatican II; Convenience or Conviction?

Francis Appiah-Kubi & Robert Bonsu

Issue: Vol.1  No.1 May 2020  Article 4 pp. 28-36
DOI :   |   Published online 1st May 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


The nature and the missionary role of the laity in the church is one of the issues currently vital to the church and theologians. From the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) perspective, the word laity is technically understood to mean all the faithful except those in holy orders and those in the state of religious life specially approved by the Catholic Church (LG31). These faithful are by baptism made one with Christ and constitute the People of God; they are sharers in the priestly, prophetic and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the church and in the world. However, the distinction between the ordained and the lay is a real one. A great deal of attention has been paid to the ordained ministry of the Church, its nature, its authority and its functions. The laity tends, by way of contrast, to be taken very much for granted, as though in their case no special problems arise. This study discusses the nature, role, and participation of lay people in the mission of the Church as proposed by the Second Vatican Council. It treats succinctly the historical development of the Laity and the challenges and opportunities inherent in their mission.

Keywords: Mission, Evangelization, Communion, Convenience, Conviction, Lay faithful, Clergy, the baptized, Christifideles; aggiornamento, Apostolicam Actuositatem; Lumen Gentium.

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FRANCIS APPIAH-KUBI, PhD is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana. Email: Robert Yeboah is a second-year seminarian in Theology at the St. Gregory the Great Major Provincial Seminary, Kumasi. He holds BA degree in Religious Studies and Sociology from the University of Ghana, Legon.

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© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (