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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Ecclesia in Africa

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  • CHAPTER IV
    • I. Present-Day Challenges
      • 75
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Importance of formation

75. In all areas of Church life formation is of primary importance. People who have never had the chance to learn cannot really know the truths of faith, nor can they perform actions which they have never been taught. For this reason "the whole community needs to be trained, motivated and empowered for evangelization, each according to his or her specific role within the Church".141 This includes Bishops, priests, members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apos- tolic Life, members of Secular Institutes and all the lay faithful.

Missionary training has to have a special place. It is "the task of the local Church, assisted by missionaries and their Institutes, and by the personnel from the young Churches. This work must be seen not as peripheral but as central to the Christian life".142

The formation programme will especially include the training of the lay faithful, so that they will fully exercise their role of inspiring the temporal orderpolitical, cultural, economic and social — with Christian principles, which is the specific task of the laity's vocation in the world. For this purpose competent and well motivated lay people need to be encouraged to enter politics.143 By worthily carrying out the duties of public office they will be able to "advance the common good and prepare the way for the Gospel".144




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