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LAITY. Those persons who do not make a part of the clergy. In the United States the division of the people into clergy and laity is not authorized by law, but is, merely conventional.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The chief value of this dissertation is its presentation of the reasoning behind these documents, as the Church assesses the last 30 years' evolution of Vatican II's teaching on the laity. O.
First, there is the recent Instruction on the Role of the Laity in the Pastoral Mission (Aug.
Support for laity was a new idea with no precedent, hence Leckey believed that while some bishops were sympathetic, others were perplexed as to how to move forward.
Lagdameo told thousands of devotees who flocked to the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral last February 2 that Mary is a model figure in the Year of the Laity as declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
He called for a committed laity who are united, each making his own "specific contribution to the Church's mission, in accordance with the ministries and tasks each one has in the life of the Church, and always in cordial communion with the bishops."
THE PURPOSE OF THIS HISTORY LESSON IS SIMPLY TO POINT out that devotions arose when the place of the laity in the church had been greatly diminished, their rightful role in the liturgy reduced to that of spectators.
While the dissemination of information hardly constitutes radical activity for voluntary organizations--indeed its parent organization, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, focused heavily on publications--the fact that the CPF was an organization dominated and run by lay Catholics made its apostolic activities significant and suggests important changes in the role of the laity in American Catholic life.
Pope Francis appointing a commission gave the laity a glimmer of hope that something significant would be done to restore their faith in the church's concern for them.
Dubbed "The Light of Faith in the Heart of the Laity" (Liwanag ng Pananampalataya sa Puso ng Pinoy), the year-long activity will be held from 8 a.m.
Addressing the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in May 2010, Pope Benedict said that, although the formation of politicians does not enter the mission of the Church, the Church is required "to give a moral judgement to things of the political order whenever this is required by the fundamental rights of the person and the salvation of souls" (, May 21, 2010).
While many of these new opportunities are definitely good, Vatican II's vision of the reenergized laity extends far beyond duties in the parish, including, for example, the evangelization of the marketplace and social justice actions.
A communique it issued after a January meeting stated simply that it had received 171 responses --nine of them from dioceses, 87 from laity, 51 from clergy, 13 from groups of clergy and laity, and 11 could not be identified as to which order they belong to.