What is the role of the Church in the world?

Mission Lab

The role of the Church is to make Christ known and loved, to spread the knowledge of Salvation everywhere, and to pray and suffer for the Salvation of souls.

Christ gave His Church the commission to spread the message of Salvation to the ends of the earth. The greatest gift which God has given to man is the gift of the good news of the Gospel. In the Gospel, God brings to fulfillment His hidden plan, prophesied and prefigured in the Old Testament, to save mankind and to give each man a share in His divine life through Jesus Christ His Son. Therefore the Church both speaks and listens to the world, without being conformed to it. It tries to show the world how to be faithful to the Gospel and how to journey toward Heaven.

For these reasons, the Church makes “a judgment about economic and social matters when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2458). The Church issues public statements or encyclicals on how these matters impact the common good and are to be ordered to God, man’s ultimate end and sovereign Good.

Much of the effective work of bringing the Gospel of Christ to the world must be done by the laity. The laity are challenged to make holy the actual world in which they live; they discover Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and then bring Him into the world. As citizens of both the Church and the world, the laity are meant to be the bridge that connects them. The priest stands between God and man; the laity stand between the Church and the world.