Cardijn’s explains his position to Suenens

Along with his letter to Cardinal Suenens, Cardijn enclosed a note explaining his position.


Les laïcs en première ligne!

1. This text is first and foremost the story of a journey. It includes a large number of articles published several years ago – sometimes twenty-five years ago – and censored at the time. Most of them have been translated and published in various languages, and are already well known in many countries.

2. I submitted the text of the forthcoming book to archbishops and bishops, and a number of theologians and friends, when I personally handed over a copy to Your Eminence in Rome last November. They all urged me to publish it.

3. I am bound by a contract signed on 12 February with Editions Universitaires, Paris, which includes stipulations concerning ownership of the text and the financial consequences of its publication and translation.

4. Since signing the contract, Mr Delarge, manager of the publishing house, has insisted on interviewing me on French television and on producing a record about the book.

5. Won’t major changes have an impact on these commitments? Above all, won’t they provoke regrettable comments that will do more harm than good, and out of all proportion to the nuances of the proposed corrections?

6. The publisher’s requests regarding the publication date and the TV interview are becoming very pressing, making the need for clarification all the more urgent.

Jos. Cardijn

2 April 1963


Archives Cardijn 1777