laity

Does the laity only refer to those who are Catholic? Can a baptized non-Catholic be considered a part of the laity? The CCC paragraph 897 seem to state that you’re a part of the laity if you’re baptized (being a Catholic is not required).

In its general application, the word “laity” means “common people”, as opposed to the special/elite. In that section, however, it is the “lay faithful” who are described, and the second term might well exclude non-Catholics.

Indeed, when the Church talks about the faithful, She refers to those who are faithful to the Catholic Church, and not to some other church.

The Anglican Church also uses the term “laity” (to refer to non-ordained Anglicans). At least the one I went to did.

From Lumen Gentium

  1. The term laity is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in holy orders and those in the state of religious life specially approved by the Church. These faithful are by baptism made one body with Christ and are constituted among the People of God; they are in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world.

Generally, yes: it comes from λαος, “people in general”, and so it gets used by clerics for non-clerics, by academics for non-academics, by medics for non-medics, etc.

But doesn’t baptism make you a Christian?

Indeed it does, but there are some Christians who make the choice to not be part of the Catholic Church. So Baptism does not make you Catholic.

I should point out that children who are Baptized before the age of reason are considered Catholic by the Catholic Church, even though the Church has no practical means to even know about them, much less reach out to them. This would include Anglican (Episcopal, Methodist) children, as well as Lutherans and some others who confer valid Christian Baptism upon infants. However, once they reach the age of reason and choose another Christian denomination, they forfeit their Catholic association. It is generally assumed that people who have reached the age of reason and receive valid protestant Christian Baptism forfeit their brief association with the Catholic Church immediately thereafter.

Those who have received valid Christian Baptism (whether in a Catholic or protestant rite) remain Christian, and will, by virtue of the Grace of their Christian Baptism, inherit the Kingdom of God (as child or adult), provided they do not commit mortal sin after they reach the age of reason. If a protestant receives valid Christian Baptism, and dies while yet in a State of Grace, he goes to heaven (he might be surprised by a possible layover in Purgatory, but his salvation is assured).

Protestant Christians who have committed mortal sin beyond the age of reason are in a difficult position. They ordinarily have no recourse to Sacramental Confession, which is freely available to Catholics, and is 100% restorative.

So is more required than just baptism in order to become a part of the laity?

In the Catholic Church, the “laity” (common people) are anyone who identify themselves as Catholic, whether they have been Baptized or not (presumably an unbaptized adult layperson is a convert who is (or will be) attending RCIA). There are no “requirements” to be a Catholic layperson other than to call yourself Catholic (and not be Ordained).

There are requirements to be considered a faithful Catholic layperson (the precepts of the Church), but not to be just a Catholic layperson.

Other denominations have different definitions. Baptists do not count the non-Baptized in their membership rolls, so I suppose they don’t consider them Baptists (so they would presumably not be Baptist laypeople).

let me ask you great question: If you are baptized by a Lutheran (like I was) then your called a Christian but if you are baptized by a Catholic Priest then you are called a Catholic Christian. What is it that the Catholic Priest does that makes the baby Catholic? What is it that the Lutheran didn’t do? Both me and the Catholic baby received the exact same sacrament.

Yes, you are considered Christian by both the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church, but you would be further considered (by both) to be a Lutheran Christian.

if you are baptized by a Catholic Priest then you are called a Catholic Christian. What is it that the Catholic Priest does that makes the baby Catholic? What is it that the Lutheran didn’t do? Both me and the Catholic baby received the exact same sacrament.

But they did not participate in the exact same rite. It’s not the priest that determines “Catholicity,” but the participants and the rite. In the Cattholic Rite of Christian Baptism for Infants, the parents and sponsors are asked to affirm the Catholic Faith on behalf of the subject, including the question,

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? [emphasis mine]

It is this affirmation, made within the understanding of the Catholic Church’s interpretation of “the holy Catholic Church” that separates Catholic Baptism from protestant Baptism. Both protestant and Catholic Baptism are the same valid Sacrament, but only one is truly Catholic, because only one expresses fidelity to the Catholic Church.

When you are baptized you become Lutheran? I look at it this way: There is no Lutheran Church. There is only the Catholic Church. A baptized does belong to the Body of Christ. Right? The Body of Christ is the Catholic Church. When I argue like this I just have a problem calling myself “non-Catholic”. How does the Church respond to this?
You said that the Catholic Priest does something the Lutheran didn’t. What is it and will the Catholic Priest do that to me when I will be received in the Church?

When you are baptized you become Lutheran? I look at it this way: There is no Lutheran Church. There is only the Catholic Church. A baptized does belong to the Body of Christ. Right? The Body of Christ is the Catholic Church. When I argue like this I just have a problem calling myself “non-Catholic”. How does the Church respond to this?
You said that the Catholic Priest does something the Lutheran didn’t. What is it and will the Catholic Priest do that to me when I will be received in the Church?
Btw,

???

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