Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Last edited 12th June 2013

Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Plenary - A Council for the Laity? - Professor Anne Hunt


Almost every Vatican document has something to say on the laity, beginning with Sacrosanctum Concilium, which called for the full, conscious and active participation by all the people in liturgical celebration. The rediscovery of the people of God as one reality, a mutuality of hierarchy and laity in which all are called to holiness, was one of the most profound insights of Vatican II. The recognition of the universal call to holiness and the fundamental equality and dignity of all the faithful gave impetus to the council’s vision for the vital role of the laity in the Church.

By virtue of their baptism, the laity are endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and share in the abiding charismatic and missionary character of the church. All the baptized are called to be active members of the people of God, sharing in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ. Theirs is an active participation that belongs to all, hierarchy and laity alike, whatever their distinct gifts, vocations, and responsibilities. This paper will explore questions concerning the place, role and rise of the laity in the life of the Church as envisaged by the Second Vatican Council. It will also explore the relationship between the laity and the clergy, and how that relationship might fruitfully be understood.

- Professor Anne Hunt received her degree as Doctor of Theology from Melbourne College of Divinity and is currently Executive Dean of the Faculty of Theology & Philosophy of Australian Catholic University



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