Pope Benedict backs up the Aparecida bishops on the importance of strong Catholic examples in the secular world:
502. The contemporary reality of our continent makes it clear that there is a notable absence—in the political sphere, in the world of the media and in the universities—of the voices and initiatives of Catholic leaders with strong personalities and generous dedication, who are coherent in their ethical and religious convictions.(Benedict XVI, Introductory Address 4)
503. One of the most noteworthy of the signs of concern is the conception of the human being, man and woman, that has taken shape. The common element in assaults on life in all its manifestations, especially against the most innocent and defenseless, acute poverty and social exclusion, corruption, and ethical relativism, and so forth, is a notion of a human being for all practical purposes closed to God and to the other.
As for #503 here, it has to work with lay leadership in the world. No other options these days, not anywhere in the world.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.