The attitude of the catholic lay faithful to politics in Lira Diocese
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Many catholic lay faithful have served in politics before and after independence, some in big political offices and others continue serving in politics. History has shown that the church has always played an important role in human societies positively or negatively. At institutional level the church have always spoken and written about human rights and democracy. Some times this has been met with opposition from Politicians especially when religious leaders talk on sensitive issues. The catholic Bishop of Africa at their synod in Rome about “The Church in Africa” (1994) stated that “it is not a Christian virtue to leave politics to politicians…” This research seeks to determine the attitude of the lay faithful to politics, to asses their involvement, to suggest some ways and means to improve on the attitude of the lay faithful to politics, to ascertain the problems that tend to hinder their participation and also correct some of the mis-conceived role of religious leaders in politics. The study used the survey design research methodology whereby information was collected systematically using designed questionnaire and interview schedule. The study also used applied observation method where the phenomena were observed from the field of study and nationalistic design to study the population as it naturally occurs. The study shows that some of the lay faithful are participating actively in politics and others have neglected participation in politics to other denominations. They have gone as far as giving the impressions, that politics is “a dirty game”, some have even shunned participating in the leadership positions. It further shows that all Christians are members of the people of God, the church, whose messianic task is to transform the world in to the Kingdom of God. All are to be committed to it since the church as a whole is apostolic: apostolate is not limited to the priest and bishops as often misunderstood. For this reason the full people of God is called by Vatican II “the universal sacrament of salvation” (Lumen Gentium 48). Certain areas of life are to be evangelized by the laity because they are the active participants in the fields of politics, economics, security, education, judiciary and so forth. The study recommends that the lay faithful should play their role in politics irrespective of any denomination or any other affiliation; all the lay faithful should strive to make politics beneficial to all, since they are quite big in numbers, they should be the source of strength and the voice of the voiceless and the vulnerable in the community; the lay faithful should be gradually aware of the solidarity that binds those different members of the groups in which they live. They are invited to participate in all community activities in order to have much influence in the community (country); the church leaders should also be the voice of the voiceless. The church has the moral authority to criticize constructively and offer all round leadership in times of exceptional crises.