The importance of the laity in the Church: This was the focus on weekend audience between leaders of different lay groups and Pope Francis. Among those in attendance was the co-initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way, Kiko Arguello. The founder of the Community of Sant' Egidio, Andrea Riccardi was also there, as well as Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement.
They all reflected on the best way to evangelize in major metropolitan cities, where often times Christian values clash with popular culture.
"Urban life has a strong impact on the mentality, culture, way of life, inter personal relationships and the religiosity of people.”
The Pope also spoke out against the social exclusion the marginalized often face in urban cities.
"Cities offer great opportunities, but they also pose great risks. They can become the base of freedom and personal fulfillment, but also horrible places of 'dehumanization' and unhappiness. It seems that along with citizens, there are so called 'non-citizens.' Invisible people, the poor who live without human warmth.”
The Pope then added that to overcome secularization and social exclusion, the laity must receive a complete formation. He added that they are called to play a key role in the Church. Especially because when the laity lives out its faith consistently and publicly, the social impact is beyond measure.