[ noun ] (religion) everyone except the clergy
Used in print(Edward E. Kelly, S.J., "Christian Unity in England"...)
In this connection , it has been observed that the increasing number of Irish Catholics , priests and laity , in England , while certainly seen as good for Catholicism , is nevertheless a source of embarrassment for some of the more nationalistic English Catholics , especially when these Irishmen offer to remind their Christian brethren of this good .
Now , not_only are there considerably more laity as students and professors at Oxford , but there are also numerous houses of religious_orders existing in respectable and friendly relations with the non_Catholic members of the University .
Almost daily something is reported which feeds this Catholic hope in England : statistics of the increasing numbers of converts and Irish Catholic immigrants ; news of a Protestant minister in Leamington who has offered to allow a Catholic priest to preach from his pulpit ; a report that a Catholic nun had been requested to teach in a non-Catholic secondary_school during the sickness of one of its masters ; the startling statement in a respectable periodical that `` Catholics , if the present system is still in_operation , will constitute almost one-third of the House_of_Lords in the next generation '' ; a report that 200 Protestant clergymen and laity attended a votive Mass offered for Christian unity at a Catholic_church in Slough during the Church Unity Octave .