November 15, 2010

Pope Benedict said that lay Catholics have a responsibility to promote social justice and charity in a globalized world often marked by injustice and inequality.

Addressing the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Nov. 4, the pope called for “renewed evangelization of the Church’s social doctrine.”

Lay people, the pope said, as “free and responsible citizens,” are invested with “the immediate task of working for a just social order.”

The pope made his remarks in a message to Cardinal Peter Turkson, the council president.

Lay Catholics cannot carry out the Church’s message alone, the pope said.

“They must find priests and bishops able to offer untiring support for purification of the conscience, as well as indispensable support for the coherent witness of the social doctrine of the Church.”

Victims of injustice and inequality expect “words of hope” from the Church and signs that God “can save humanity from its radical evils,” the pope said.

The pope suggested the establishment of new centres for the study and promotion of Church social teaching throughout the world.