March 4-6, 2020 at the University of Notre Dame
"Co-responsibility demands a change in mindset especially concerning the role of lay people in the Church. They should not be regarded as “collaborators” of the clergy, but, rather, as people who are really “co-responsible” for the Church’s being and acting."
Pope Benedict XVI
Called & Co-Responsible is an academic and pastoral conference dedicated to exploring what the idea “co-responsibility” for the “Church’s being and acting” might mean, both for the laity and for the ordained. This conference will try at least to glimpse the full potential of the idea of co-responsibility and its fruitfulness for the life of the Church going forward. This involves asking what is the “change in mindset” that Benedict mentions?
We do not imagine that “co-responsibility” is a matter of a zero-sum game of power sharing. The common priesthood of the baptized and the ministerial priesthood of bishops and priests are “ordered to one another,” and “the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood” (CCC #1547). Exploring co-responsibility would be exploring the potential of this ordering of the two sharings in the priesthood of Christ.
Our hope is that the Church herself might become a culture of formation to a co-responsibility which appropriately recognizes both the sanctifying, teaching and governing mission intrinsically associated with Holy Orders as well as the responsibility of the laity to “go forth” and reach the various peripheries, less accessible to the clergy, Pope Francis has mentioned.