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Chernyi Aleksei

Theological Foundations for Church Ministry and Established Posts for Lay Persons in the German Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council


Chernyi Aleksei (2013) "Theological Foundations for Church Ministry and Established Posts for Lay Persons in the German Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2013, vol. 49, pp. 26-40 (in Russian).

Abstract

During an ongoing reform of parish staff led by the Church authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church, new positions in parishes are establishing, that of religious educator (catechist), social worker and youth worker. The principal object of this activation of parish life through structural changes is transforming parishes into missionary centers. Nevertheless, not always and not everywhere this initiative is welcomed enthusiastically or results in intensification of social, missionary and youth activities. In fact, many parishes followed the requisitions only nominally. In that context, it is only logical to consider the experience of the Catholic Church, where laypersons over half a century are holding established positions in parishes, including posts with the same responsibilities. However, if in the Russian Church the attempts to involve laypersons in parish work and emerge their role are not only conditioned but also motivated mostly by purely practical reasons, the idea of Church ministry of laypersons in the Catholic Church is based on profound theological foundations. The author sets forth premises of establishment of the parish positions for laypeople in the Catholic Church, introduced mainly at Vatican II. For this, he considers the change in expressing the idea of hierarchical structure of the Church, the council’s teaching on Church ministry and relationship between priests and laity. As an example of the practical realization of these theological premises, the author cites the German Catholic Church, where due to limited number of priests lay activity in parishes is widely spread and is quite versatile

Keywords

Second Vatican Council, ecclesiology, Catholic Church, priesthood, lay people, parish, Church ministry, catechumenate, mission, youth work

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Chernyi Aleksei

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