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Empowered as King, Priest and Prophet: The Identity of Roman Catholic Laity in the People of God



The language of “People of God,” which exemplifies the radical shift in ecclesiology found in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, not only has gained a predominance of use in contemporary Roman Catholic theology, it provides a vocabulary with which to explore the identity of the Roman Catholic laity, particularly as they relate to the scripturally-grounded titles of “King,” “Priest,” and “Prophet.” This article considers the implications of this identity in contrast to the Institutional ecclesiology with which it competes in the conciliar documents as well as in many official statements since Vatican II. Viewing these titles from their roots in Hebrew and Christian Scripture opens new avenues of empowerment for the laity and for transforming the whole Church.