VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2008 (Zenit.org).- It is time for Christians to leave aside inferiority complexes and become valiant witnesses in the world, says the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko affirmed this Thursday at the opening of the 23rd plenary assembly of that Vatican dicastery. The council assembly is considering “20 Years After ‘Christifideles Laici’: Memory, Development, New Challenges and Tasks,” L’Osservatore Romano reported.
The cardinal analyzed the situation of Western societies, characterized by the “dictatorship of relativism,” and denounced the growth of a new “anti-Christian attitude” that “make attacks on Christians, and particular on Catholics, pass off as politically correct.”
Today, he warned, “one who wants to live and act according to the Gospel of Christ has to pay a price, even in the highly liberal societies of the West.”
“The idea of creating a new man completely uprooted from Judeo-Christian tradition and a new world order is gaining ground,” Cardinal Rylko contended.
In this regard, the Vatican official said the problem for Christians is not with being a minority, but rather that of “we ourselves putting ourselves at the margin, making ourselves irrelevant — due to a lack of courage, so that people leave us in peace, because of mediocrity.”
“For Christians,” Cardinal Rylko added, “the moment has arrived to free themselves from a false inferiority complex […] to be valiant witnesses of Christ.”
This should be the “hour of the laity,” he continued, and their “responsibility in the diverse fields of public life, from politics to the promotion of life and family, from work to the economy, from education to the formation of youth.”
This teaching of the Second Vatican Council was developed by Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation “Christifideles Laici,” which the cardinal called a “true handbook for the whole Church.”
Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, seconded Cardinal Rylko’s affirmation.
He urged Christian collaboration in the world of politics: “Laypeople are called to go after, little by little, a just social order. It is an intense task that awaits them, both in personal and community life, a task that implies taking up with valor and creativity their evangelizing duty.”