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Divide article?[edit]

Since "laity" means two completely different things, I think we should cut up the article in two (one referring to the reigious meaning, the other the common meaning)

--Msoos 08:00, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

i also agree that this should be divided

What other meaning? I am glad to build a disambiguation page, but I don't know any other meaning besides this one. Give me a source or two to read and I'm glad to help with this. Sarum blue 17:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I also think that if changes are to be made, it should be mentioned that while the expression "lay people" is often used in common speech, the word "laity" itself is not, and is still mostly restricted to its religious meaning. Loganberry (Talk) 02:34, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Any place for mention of groups that don't distinguish?[edit]

I don't want to clutter up the article with irrelevancies, so I won't make an addition on this topic myself. However, I'd like to raise the point that in some Christian groups, the concept of "the priesthood of all believers" (based on a biblical text) causes them to resist making a clergy/laity distinction. In the Church of Christ, as one example, a congregational may have one or more minister (often paid by the congregation), but there is an understanding that any believer — most commonly restricted to any male believer, however — has an equal authority. Mormonism, on the other hand, officially rejects having a paid preacher at all and seems to have no office clearly corresponding to that of priest, though they have elders, bishops, and at the top level, apostles. It seems a topic that should at least be touched on, but I've no clue how to do it without seeming to take the article down a tangent. Lawikitejana 02:15, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

This does seem to be a problem for this article. The claim that in Anglicanism, the three orders are priests, deacons and lay ministers is misguided; Anglicanism observes the traditional three orders of bishops, priests and deacons; lay ministers are not consecrated in the same way as ordained ministers. However, Anglicanism is still moderately supportive of the idea of the 'priesthood of all believers', and the article correctly notes the important role of laity in synodical government. AlexTiefling 21:27, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
There is a similar problem here for Latter-Day Saints. Our leaders are ordained. It seems to me if they are ordained they are not laity, which is defined here being those who are unordained leaders. (talk) 19:34, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Roman Catholic history[edit]

The history of the laity is not historically accurate, but I don't have many sources at my fingertips. This section is also simplistic, and the shifting role of the laity is pretty complex... Freder1ck 00:02, 11 November 2006 (UTC)Freder1ck

When I get a chance, I want to incorporate the following bit into the section: Catechism of the Catholic Church 1268 The baptized have become "living stones" to be "built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood."74 By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light."75 Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.1268 The baptized have become "living stones" to be "built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood."74 By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light."75 Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.
The Catholic understanding of the common priesthood of the baptised is not new, but ancient. It's also found in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia: [1] Freder1ck 16:34, 12 November 2006 (UTC)Freder1ck
I've made some changes, but the paragraph following the blockquote still needs work. Also, I think it's valuable to directly block quote from LG 31 as the passage succintly synthesizes a broad Catholic perspective on the laity. Freder1ck 14:29, 30 November 2006 (UTC)Freder1ck

Wrong order? (no pun intended....)[edit]

(OK, the pun was not intended in advance, but I am suffering it to remain after I noticed it.)

The article says:

lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons

One is first (chronologically) a lay person, then a deacon, then a priest, and finally a bishop. In that order. So it would seem natural to list them in that order, especially when one applies ordinal numbers to them, speaking of a "fourth order". Michael Hardy (talk) 04:25, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Pay, pray and obey[edit]

There should be some dissertation on the slogan Pay, pray and obey, commonly used by reformers, which denotes the previous ecclesiology of Leo XIII. This ecclesiology was eventually upgraded during the Second Vatican Council. (cf ([2]) ADM (talk) 01:29, 31 January 2009 (UTC)


Another issue that could be included in the article is the notion of super-laity, laypeople who become so integrated to the ecclesial structure that they begin to think and act like clerical bureaucrats. This issue has been discussed in certain European Catholic publications. [3] ADM (talk) 05:43, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

lay man[edit]

I see no link to Layman which seems a later, derived but related concept - seems to expand the religous aspect to cover other actual activity that is not officially endorsed. L∴V 14:53, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

The block of text added in this diff doesn't really belong. I'm adding to Talk: for completeness, and to . Appeals to etymology over current usage, it doesn't flow with whole text, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by YhnMzw (talkcontribs) 08:48, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Roman Catholic section needs work[edit]

In my sleep-deprived opinion, the paragraph that starts with "In this narrower sense, the Council taught..." in the Roman Catholic section needs a lot of work or needs to be replaced. The same goes for the short paragraph that follows it. The paragraphs read like an essay or an article in a church publication rather than an encyclopedia article. I think that the section should simply state who is considered laity in the Roman Catholic Church and what their role in the church is, in a factual sense. For example, are nuns and monks considered part of the laity? (apparent answer is yes, if not ordained) However, I am totally willing to consider the possibility that I am simply overly tired. If you want to contact me, please use my user talk page. -- Kjkolb (talk) 06:34, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Merge proposal, May 2016[edit]

I see that User:Jujutsuan has proposed that Layperson be merged into Laity. I have no opinion about the merger, but I suggest that whether the merger proceeds or not, the separate sections that currently exist at Layperson § Professional context and Layperson § Everyday context should remain as separate sections in one article or the other. I came to the page looking for the secular meaning, not the religious meaning, and while the term originated in the religious realm, today the secular use is just as important. In my experience, the word "laity" is not used in the secular realm, so an argument could be made against the merger and in favor of retaining the Layperson article as primarily secular and the Laity article as primarily religious, although I am not making that argument now; I just wanted to share these ideas. Biogeographist (talk) 01:51, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

This is basically what I was thinking when I saw the merger proposal. I think if there is a merge, it should be the other way around, with Laity redirecting to the subsection about the religious usage of Layperson. If there isn't a merge, Layperson will probably always be a shorter article, with less expansion possibility, but at least we could add hatnotes to each article, linking to the other. B7T (talk) 23:18, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Don't merge: I would suggest keeping Laity for its meaning in a religious context and Layperson for its general meaning - BobKilcoyne (talk) 04:18, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

I noticed that Laypeople, which is the target of the redirect from Laypeople (disambiguation), also has a merge template suggesting that it be merged into Layperson, so I added Talk:Laity#Merge proposal, May 2016 as the discussion page for the Laypeople merge proposal as well. This merge proposal is a complicated issue that will need some concerted attention from editors at some point. Please note that this was also discussed at WP:Redirects for discussion/Log/2015 February 15#Layman. Biogeographist (talk) 18:17, 19 October 2016 (UTC)