- Roman Catholic lay ecclesial movement
Lay ecclesial movements, also called associations of the faithful, are groups of baptized Catholics organized for the purposes of catechesis, cultural work, mutual support, and/or missionary apostolate. Their members are not all exclusively lay, as some groups include priests as members also.
Secular institutes, groups of lay people who follow the evangelical counsels, are also classed with lay ecclesial movements. The Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, includes descriptions of officially approved lay societies.
A 20th Century resurgence of interest in lay societies culminated in the
Second Vatican Council. These societies also have their roots in medieval societies including confraternities, communes, and guilds.
* [http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2006/07/cities_of_god.html Book review of Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes 1125-1325 by Augustine Thompson, OP]
* [http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hdiet/Diss_contents.htm Brotherhood and Community on the Eve of the Reformation: Confraternities and Parish Life in Liege, 1450-1540 by David Dieterich]
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