Pope urges lay Catholics to get more involved in social issues
Pope John Paul II on Sunday called on lay Catholics to play active roles in meeting modern challenges such as those posed by genetic advances and economic progress.
The Holy Father dedicated Sunday to lay Catholics, spending two hours in the rain in St Peter's Square with tens of thousands of enthusiastic followers participating in the Vatican's Holy Year.
Suggesting humanity is 'rich with potential and expectations, imperiled, however, by multiple traps and dangers', John Paul sought to encourage lay Catholic activism.
"All you need to think of, among other things, are social advances and the revolution in the field of genetics, of economic progress and the underdevelopment which exists in vast areas of the planet," the Pope said, going on to list hunger, violence, loneliness and challenges to peace as other areas ripe for Catholic activism.
"Don't be afraid to accept this challenge," the pope said, adding during his homily: "If you live Christianity without compromises you can set the world on fire."