Aid for Africa and Latin America

Aide-Mémoire Samoré 07 02 1961

A day after his visit to Archbishop Dell’acqua, Cardijn had two more appointments.

Archbishop Sigismondi, Propaganda Fide

The first was with the Secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi, previously a Vatican diplomat and originally from Bergamo, the home diocese of Pope John XXIII.

The focus of this visit was the work of the JOC in Africa. As well as reporting on his trips to Africa, Cardijn thus sought Vatican assistance in placing the JOC “missionaries,” later called “extension workers,” whose task was to assist the development of the movement in the host countries.

Cardijn also insisted on the importance of the African JOC movements participating in the forthcoming Rio de Janeiro international council and he sought a grant for this purpose.

Archbishop Antonio Samoré, Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs

Cardijn’s second visit was to Archbishop Antonio Samoré, secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, effectively the Vatican’s foreign affairs office responsible for relations with other countries.

With the international council in Rio now less than a year away, Cardijn’s focus here was on Latin America. He requested a letter of support to be addressed to the Latin American bishops conference, CELAM, as well as further letters to Holy See representative offices all over Latin America.

He noted that Brazilian Bishop Helder Camara had committed to funding all hosting expenses for the international council but that a special fund had been created to finance the travel of other Latin American delegates to Brazil.

And a handwritten addition in Cardijn’s handwriting calls for a “word to HE Sigismondi.” Presumably, Cardijn wanted Samoré to add his support to Cardijn’s requests for aid to Africa as well.

All in all, another advocacy masterclass from Cardijn, in effect seeking to make Samoré and Sigismondi (and hence the Holy See) stakeholders in the development of the JOC in Africa and Latin America.

SOURCES

Pietro Sigismondi (Wikipedia)

Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi (Catholic Hierarchy)

Antonio Samoré (Wikipedia)

Antonio Cardinal Samoré (Catholic Hierarchy)

French original

Joseph Cardijn, Aide-Mémoire – Mgr Sigismondi 07 02 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Joseph Cardijn, Aide-Mémoire – Mgr Samoré 07 02 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

Joseph Cardijn, Aide-Mémoire – Mgr Sigismondi 07 02 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Joseph Cardijn, Aide-Mémoire – Mgr Samoré 07 02 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

A visit to Archbishop Dell’Acqua

Aide-Mémoire Dell'Acqua 06 02 1961

With the PCLA plenary meeting now over, Cardijn maximises his trip to Rome with a visit on 6 February to Archbishop Angelo Dell’Acqua, who plays the role of Substitute at the Holy See.

As always, Cardijn is extremely well prepared with a list of topics he wishes to report on, difficulties he wants to discuss as well as a series of specific, concrete requests for aid.

Africa

So he begins by presenting a report of his recent trip to Africa for the Pan-African YCW meeting in Lomé, Togo from 18 December, I960 to 2 January, 1961. He notes the absence of delegates from Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), which implies perhaps a lack of cooperation from local Church authorities that he wishes to redress.

And he reports on his earlier trip to several African countries in mid-1960, which was interrupted by events in Rwanda.

He particularly notes the arrival of “jocist missionaries” in Africa, no doubt wishing to ensure that they are welcomed by local bishops and churches.

International Council, Rio de Janeiro

Secondly, Cardijn offers information on the forthcoming Second International Council of the YCW to be held in Rio de Janeiro in October 1961. Five continental preparatory meetings will take place in the lead up to the Council with representatives from 90 countries expected to attend, truly a phenomenal achievement.

And he requests a letter of encouragement from the Holy See addressed to himself and/or the IYCW president, Romeo Maione, in order to help in the promotion and fundraising for the event.

He also requests letters to the representatives of the Holy See in each country in an endeavour to gain their cooperation.

And finally he asks for “honorary distinctions for international leaders” who are about to end their service to the YCW.

Vatican II

Nor is Vatican II absent from his thoughts. Thus he emphasises the “importance of a declaration by the Council on the need for the apostolate of the laity” and its promotion and development.

Encyclical for the 70th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum

Cardijn also returns to his request to Pope John in 1960 for an encyclical to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical, Rerum Novarum, and to update its teaching. He cites the teaching of Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno in 1931:

“a / on the importance of the workers’ apostolate: “The first and immediate apostles of workers will be workers”

b / on the importance of the apostolate of young workers: ‘I can already see, to the great joy of my heart, the tight ranks of young workers going to conquer their young working brothers and sisters’.

c / great progress over recent years

d / and ardent hope that this progress will continue.”

World Council of Churches

He also draws attention to the forthcoming 3rd Ecumenical Assembly of Churches scheduled to take place in New Delhi, India, from 18 November – 6 December, 1961.

Finally, he requests a private audience with John XXIII although it’s not clear if he is hoping for this immediately or on his next trip to Rome.

It’s another Cardijn masterclass of advocacy.

SOURCES

Angelo Dell’Acqua (Wikipedia)

Angelo Cardinal Dell’Acqua (Catholic Hierarchy)

Aide-Mémoire Mgr Dell’Acqua 06 02 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Aide-Memoire Archbishop Angelo Dell’Acqua 06 02 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Three sub-commissions: More bad news

There was more bad news for Cardijn on 17 October 1960.

The Rome-based members of the PCLA had already met in October to discuss and decide upon the organisation of the work of the commission.

Now Cardinal Cento announced that three sub-commissions were to be created to study three themes: evangelisation, social action and charitable action, with Cardijn appointed to the first of these commissions.

But from Cardijn’s point of view, how could such a division of tasks be reconciled with his vision of lay apostolate transforming the whole of lay life? It was a compartmentalisation that risked reducing evangelisation to its spiritual dimension and confining social and charitable action to their temporal dimensions.

Moreover, it completely contradicted the “incarnational” approach that Cardijn had defended and presented to Pope John just nine months earlier:

“The formation of the disciples of Christ, from whatever social rank, includes this authentic lay apostolate, which will become increasingly urgent and must reach the whole of humanity,” Cardijn had argued.

“And the more we invite the faithful to seek the means to incarnate and realise this spirit, the more the Church will raise up the militants and the apostles that the new world needs in order to be truly animated by the spirit of Christ,” he wrote.

How could lay people be formed to grasp such a mission if the task of evangelisation was to be separated from social and charitable action?

Moreover, at a practical level in terms of the work of the PCLA, Cardijn now found himself sidelined if not excluded from the important work of the social and charitable action sub-commissions.

Nor was Cardijn alone in his concerns. In his history of the drafting process, Ferdinand Klostermann would later write somewhat cryptically of the creation of three sub-commissions: “This division was later to prove a source of difficulty for the commission.”

SOURCES

Achille Glorieux, Histoire du Décret ‘Apostolicam Actuositatem’ sur l’Apostolat des laïcs” in A. Glorieux, R. Goldie, Y. Congar, H.-R. Weber, G. Hasenhüttl, J. Grootaers, M-J. Beccaria, P. Toulat et H. Küng, L’Apostolat des Laïcs, Décret “Apostolicam actuositatem” (Sous la direction de Y. Congar), Séries Unam Sanctam 75, Cerf, Paris, 1970, 91-140.

Ferdinand Klostermann, “Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, History of the text,” in Herbert Vorgrimler (editor), Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, Volume III, Herder and Herder, 1969, 273.

Joseph Cardijn, Priests and the social doctrine of the Church (Archives Cardijn 1299) (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

What a performance!

Cardijn’s friend and colleague, the French Dominican theologian, Yves Congar, who had just launched his own conciliar diary, has left us a colourful if not positively disdainful description of the launch ceremony for the newly constituted preparatory commissions:

“What a performance!” Congar wrote. “Papal gendarmes or Swiss guards in full uniform everywhere. The actual arrangements were impeccable. But what ceremonial, what a display of pomp! We were shown into a tribune, where I went and sat beside Fr de Lubac. The whole length of St Peter’s has been fitted out with tribunes, armchairs. A fantastic equipage of fellows in crimson uniforms, Swiss guards in helmets, holding their halberds with proud bearing. All the colleges in Rome have been mobilised and there were certainly a good ten thousand people present. Why? What a waste of time!

“At about ten minutes past eleven, the Credo was intoned and the Pope came in on foot. It was a good moment. But then the Sistine choir sang a theatrical “Tu es Petrus’: mediocre opera. The 10,000 people, the forty cardinals, the 250 or 300 bishops, said nothing. One only will have the right to speak. As for the Christian people, they are there neither by right nor in fact. I sensed the blind door of the underlying ecclesiology. It is the ostentatious ceremonial of a monarchical power.

“The Pope read a text in Italian which I did not fully understand, but which seemed to me very banal…

“Alas! After giving his blessing (alone, always alone, to the 10,000, the 300, the 40…), the Pope got up and departed, enthroned on the sedia;- stupid applause. The Pope made a gesture as if to say: alas, I can do nothing about it,” Congar concluded.

We have no record of Cardijn’s own feelings about the ceremony but Congar’s comments probably offer a good proxy – except that the JOC founder would, as always, have sought to focus on the positives of the event.

Moreover, Cardijn would have quickly latched onto the fact that among the large number of bishops and priests who were present, he did have allies, beginning with Congar.

These allies, whose presence is noted by Congar, also included the sociologist, Canon Fernand Boulard, the Belgian Dominican, Jérôme Hamer, Cardijn’s publisher Jean-Pierre Dubois-Dumée as well as Cardinal Liénart, Archbishop Emile Guerry and Gabriel Garrone, the latter of whom who had written a book explaining the concept of Specialised Catholic Action and defending it from critics including the Belgian, Léon-Joseph Suenens, an auxiliary bishop in Cardijn’s own diocese of Malines-Brussels.

SOURCE

Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council, ATF Press, 2012, 25.

John launches the Preparatory Commissions

On 14 November 1960, Pope John delivered a major speech to the cardinals, bishops, prelates, priests and religious who had been called to take part in the ten Preparatory Commissions for the Council.

He began by noting that “the Ecumenical Councils of the past responded mainly to concerns of doctrinal accuracy, various and important about the lex credendi, to the extent that heresies and errors tried to penetrate the ancient Church in the East and the West.”

He highlighted the contributions of five previous major Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Trent and Vatican I. He added that “the occasion for the gathering of the other fifteen Ecumenical Councils… was offered by various circumstances, and by the concern to safeguard, yes, the purity of the Church’s teaching on various points of doctrine, but also to the affirmation and direction of consciences disturbed in the face of events of a religious and political nature, in different nations or contingencies, referring however almost always to the supreme tasks of the ecclesiastical magisterium, at the service of order, balance, and social peace.”

Now, he continued, Vatican II needed to face the challenges of the modern world:

“In the modern age of a world with a profoundly changed physiognomy, and struggling to sustain itself amid the charms and dangers of the almost exclusive search for material goods, in the oblivion or in the languishing of the principles of the spiritual and supernatural order, which characterized the penetration and ‘to expand over the centuries of Christian civilization, in the modern age, therefore, rather than to one point or another of doctrine or discipline that should be referred to the pure sources of Revelation and tradition, it is a question of restoring value and splendor , the substance of human and Christian thinking and living of which the Church has been the custodian and teacher over the centuries.

“On the other hand, the deploration of the deviations of the human spirit tempted and pushed towards the sole enjoyment of the goods of the earth, which the modernity of scientific research now places easily within the reach of the children of our time, is certainly serious and even necessary. God guard us, however, not to exaggerate its proportions, to the point of making us believe that God’s skies are now definitively closed above our heads, that truly tenebrae factae sint super universam terram , and that there is nothing left to do but sprinkle our tiring journey of tears.

“Instead, we must take courage,” he said.

Great things were expected in fact, he continued:

“Great things indeed – we love to repeat – We expect from this Council, which wants to be able to reinvigorate faith, doctrine, ecclesiastical discipline, religious and spiritual life, and also a great contribution to the reaffirmation of those principles of the Christian order, on which the developments of civil, economic, political and social life also inspire and govern. The law of the Gospel must reach there and envelop and penetrate everything, everything, even what comes to us de rore caeli et de pinguedine terrae(11). Yes: to go there, which involves a conscious, elevated, sincere participation of all the components of the social order – priesthood and laity; established authorities; intellectual activities: work – social order completely occupied by the concern for the perfect union of the relations between heaven and earth: between uncertain and dangerous present life, and future eternal and very happy life in the proportion of our correspondence as men and Christians to the gifts of mercy of the Lord.’

SOURCE

Address of the Holy Father John XXIII to the cardinals, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, prelates, priests and religious, called to be part of the preparatory commissions and secretariats of the II Vatican Council, Vatican Basilica, Monday 14 November 1960 (Vatican website)

Members and consultors of the PCLA

L’Osservatore Romano published the full list of members and consultors for the new Preparatory Commission on Lay Apostolate in its editions of 1 and 16 September 1960.

In this initial round of appointments, Pope John named twenty-nine members and nineteen consultors to the PCLA, including many who had previous involvement in the 1951 and 1957 World Congresses on Lay Apostolate and/or one or other of the Specialised Catholic Action movements.

This is the list:

Archbishop Evasio Colli of Parma;

Archbishop Ismael-Marie Castellano, titular archbishop of Colossae;

Archbishop Gabriel Garrone of Toulouse;

Bishop Allen-Jacques Babcock of Grand Rapids;

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, auxiliary of New York;

Bishop Gabriel Bukatko, eparch of Krizevci;

Bishop Primo Gasbarri of Velletri;

Bishop Franz Hengsbach of Essen;

Bishop Ferdinand Baldelli, titular bishop of Aperle;

Mgr Aurèle Sabbatini;

Mgr (Bishop) Luigi Civardi;

Mgr (Bishop) Emile Guano;

Mgr Pietro Pavan;

Mgr Augustin Ferrari Toniolo;

Mgr Joseph Cardijn;

Joseph Géraud;

Mgr Santo Quadri;

Mgr Ferdinand Klostermann;

Mgr Jean Rodhain;

Mgr Antoine Ramselaar;

Fr Albert Bonet Marrugat;

Fr Antoine Cortbawi;

Fr Henri Donze;

Fr Cyrille-Bernard Papali, O.C.D.;

Fr Jena Hirschmann, S.J.;

Fr Paul Lopez de Lara, S. J.;

Fr Robert Tucci, S. J.;

Fr Georges Jarlot, S. J.;

Fr Jean Ponsioen, S.C.J.

CONSULTORS:

Archbishop Emmanuel Trindade Salgueiro of Evora;

Archbishop Owen McCann of Cape Town;

Archbishop Ambroise Rayappan of Pondicherry and Cuddalore;

Archbishop Bernardin Gantin of Cotonou;

Bishop Emmanuel Larrain Errâzuriz of Talca;

Bishop Joseph Blomjous of Mwanza;

Bishop Boleslas Kominek, titular bishop of Vaga;

Bishop Bryan Gallagher of Port Pirie;

Bishop Benedict Tomizawa of Sapporo and Apostolic Administrator of the Prefecture of Karafuto;

Bishop Joseph Armand Gutierrez Granier, auxiliary of La Paz;

Bishop Reginald-John Delargey, auxiliary of Auckland;

Mgr Ferdinand Lambruschini ;

Fr Henri Caffarel;

Fr Victor Portier;

Fr Raymond Spiazzi, O.P.;

Fr Salvatore Lener, S.J.;

Fr Peter Pillai, O.M.I.;

Fr Wiliam Ferrée, C.M. ;

Fr Vincent de Vogelaere, O.P.

Among the members of the Commission with jocist links – apart from Cardijn himself – we can identify Gabriel Garrone, Jean Rodhain, Henri Donze, chaplain to the French Action Catholique Indépendent, Henri Caffarel, a former JOC national-secretariat chaplain who founded the Teams of Our Lady from France, Franz Hengsbach from Germany, Albert Bonet, founder of the JOC affiliate in Catalonia, and Antoine Cortbawi from Lebanon.

The consultors also included several with close ties to Cardijn, the JOC and the Specialised Catholic Action movements, notably Larrain but also McCann, Gantin, Blomjous, Gallagher, Gutierrez Granier, Delargey and Pillai.

SOURCES

J. Bouvy, “Composition des Commissions préparatoires du II Concile oecuménique du Vatican,” in Nouvelle Revue Théologique 82 N° 8 (1960): 861-869.

Stefan Gigacz, Vatican II bishops with links to Cardijn, the JOC and other SCA mvts

Pope John launches the preparatory commissions

On 5 June 1960, Pope John published a Motu Proprio entitled Superno Dei creating ten specialised commissions to work on preparing for the holding of Vatican II under the supervision of a Central Commission.

The proposed commissions were:

a) Theological Commission: To deal with issues relating to the Scriptures, sacred tradition, and the faith;

b) Commission for the Bishops and diocesan Governance

c) Commission on formation of the clergy and the Christian people;

d) Commission on religious principles;

e) Commission on the Sacraments;

f)  Commission on the Liturgy;

g) Commission on studies and seminaries;

h) Commission on the Eastern Churches;

i) Commission on mission;

i) Commission on the Apostolate of the Laity.

This tenth commission on lay apostolate was to deal with all issues relating to “Catholic Action as well as religious and social action.”

The Antepreparatory Commission under Archbishop Tardini had actually proposed six preparatory commissions. Now, however, Pope John had finally fixed the number at ten, including a commission on lay apostolate that the pope had decided upon himself, describing it as a “real innovation.”

Indeed, it was the first time that an Ecumenical Council had specifically addressed the issue of the apostolate of the laity.

According to Commission secretary, Mgr Achille Glorieux, a former JOC chaplain from Lille, France, this decision exercised “a great influence on the whole Council, contributing to highlight the place of lay people in the Church and the importance of their role in the apostolic mission of the Church.”

Did Cardijn himself have any particular influence on the pope in coming to this decision?

Although we have no documentation to clarify this point, it is significant that Cardijn had raised the issue of “the confusion” over lay apostolate issues in his audience with the pope less than three months earlier.

In any event, it is clear that the issue of lay apostolate was also a personal preoccupation of John himself.

SOURCES

Pope John XXIII, Superno Dei (Vatican website)

The Church and the world of work

Five weeks after returning from Rome, Cardijn sent a 5000 word document entitled “L’Eglise face au monde du travail” (The Church facing the world of work) to Archbishop Dell’Acqua to assist in the drafting of an encyclical to mark the 70th anniversary of Rerum Novarum.

“The note, which I wrote in a single session, focuses particularly on the international aspect of the world of work and the problems it raises. I certainly have not presented the Church’s whole doctrine on justice as would have been necessary. The text in fact is merely a series of reflections drafted by hand without any pretensions.

“I have just opened the book by Fathers Calves (sic, should be Calvez) and Perrin SJ: “Eglise et société économique : l’enseignement social des Papes, de Léon XIII à Pie XII (1878-1953)“. Collection « Théologie » publiée sous la direction de la Faculté de théologie S.J. de Lyon-Fourvière – Editions Montaigne, Paris 1959 (“Church and economic society: the social teaching of the Popes, from Leo XIII to Pius XII (1878-1953)”. “Theology” collection published under the direction of the SJ Faculty of Theology of Lyon- Fourvière – Editions Montaigne, Paris 1959.) It includes a very broad selection of pontifical texts.

“As I suggested to Your Excellency in my previous letter, a study committee could prepare a draft, as was done for Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno.

“I beg Your Excellency’s pardon for the simplicity of my suggestions but I believe that the time is truly ripe for a psychological shock in the world. Perhaps we could announce the new encyclical a little later and thus prepare great publicity for it and a great impact in every continent,” Cardijn wrote.

The Church faces the world of work

He takes up these themes in greater detail in his actual note, which is organised around his iconic Three Truths of Reality (See), Faith (Judge) and Method (Act) dialectic.

I. Truth of Reality: The universal dimension of the problem

“Never has the worker problem experienced the dimension, significance or gravity that it has today,” Cardijn begins in his usual apocalyptic style. “All the more so since its present dimensions do not signify the ultimate end point; on the contrary this is merely the beginning of a vertiginous transformation, both concerning work itself and all the actors who are engaged in it, and concerning the unheard of repercussions of this transformation on all aspects of the life of the whole of humanity.

“Not only the manner and life of work have been and are continuing to be transformed from day to day, but labour is in the process of turning the whole world on its head, creating an increasingly technological world, changing the very regime of work as well as the various aspects of human life – personal, family, social, cultural and recreational, political, national and international,” he insisted.

He continued noting that while both Leo XIII (Rerum Novarum) and Pius XI (Quadragesimo Anno) had dealt with the issue of work and labour in their encyclicals, Pius XII had not done so even if he had taken up various aspects in many of his speeches.

Now, however, the issues of work and labour had taken on a “universal dimension.”

“Today, the future of work has become a global problem, the No. 1 problem, one might say. It is increasingly becoming so: through the perfecting of new labour processes, which have spread rapidly in every country and among all races; through the growing number of wage workers, both young and adult – and particularly women and young girls – in all sectors of professional life (production, trade, finance, administration, teaching, transport, publicity); through the power of new technologies which overcome all obstacles and thus transform the face of continents as well as the life of peoples; through scientific, social and ultimately philosophical problems that have led to this evolution, through which man increasingly masters matter at the risk of allowing himself to become dominated by it,” Cardijn wrote.

He paints a dramatic picture of the effects of all this:

“It is technology with its applications in every aspect of life – which enables the most primitive peoples to move without any transition to the most modern conditions of life; it is also technology which multiplies the tentacles of urban and industrial agglomerations, which are also the source of deep-seated uprootedness; it is also technology which responds with irresistible advertising for the most unhealthy products, the most upsetting processes and aspirations, the most sensational news.

“In the frenzied race to conquer the world and the insatiable search for immediate profit, work, expenses and the labour regime, the growing number of workers are all dragged into a world that is divided into two economic groups: the under-developed and the over-developed, and into two ideological groups: the communist world and the capitalist world. This economic, social, cultural and ideological transformation is unfolding under our very eyes at a time when so many new peoples, and especially in Africa, which are achieving independence and are seeking capital, technicians, political alliances which will assist them to achieve their destiny.”

II. Truth of Faith: The truth about work and the world of the worker

Cardijn continues with one of the most developed outlines of his theology of work.

“In the present conditions of the world transformed by work, the anniversary of Rerum Novarum presses the Church to proclaim more solemnly still the TRUTHS which must be the base of a world regime for truly human and Christian labour. It has received a divine mandate to spread the knowledge of it,” he wrote.

1. The end of work is the transformation of the wealth of nature for the service of people and for the glory of God.

Work is not a punishment for sin, a kind of condemnation. Nor is it the supreme end for those who work; one cannot turn it into an absolute, a god.

Human work is a privilege, an honour, because it demands the collaboration of man in the divine work of Creation and Redemption in order to satisfy in an increasingly adequate way the needs of the community. Without work, there is no genuine humanity, no genuine civilisation. The fatigues and abuses that accompany work are the consequences of sin.

Therefore workers are not “the wretched of the earth”, machines or slaves; they are not objects, instruments of toys; they are the sons and daughters of God; they are the very end of work.

2. This is why the Church, as divine Providence itself, desires, encourages and recognises the value and the legitimacy of all progress in science and technology. It wants them, not for the benefit of a tiny minority, but so that they will enable the needs, both spiritual and material, of the whole of humanity to be satisfied.

3. Technological and economic progress demands an increasingly sophisticated organisation of labour, within which various interests must be reconciled for the good of all.

4. The more the world of labour becomes an international complex, either in the sourcing and use of new products, or in the search for new manufacturing processes, or in the distribution of products manufactured on a market that has become global, the more the sense of responsibility and international justice must inspire a collaboration and a solidarity, that ensures the access of all in justice – not the privileged few but the innumerable mass of the most humble – in all the material and spiritual progress of civilisation.

5. However no form of economic, social or cultural organisation – as perfect as one could conceive of it and implement it – will be able alone to transform man (individual human life, family life and social life), neither to satisfy all the needs, whether secular or religious.

One can only arrive there by spreading, inculcating a new conception of the world, a unified and solidary world; and in changing the mentalities on the basis of mutual understanding and assistance; and to say it all by changing people in line with the teaching of the Gospel.

This transformation of man from the inside must be the object of an ongoing education: that of the child, that of the young man and of the young girl, that of the adult. And it will be all the more necessary in the future, since personal and social life will be more influenced by technology and by the complexity of human problems to resolve.

An integral human education supposes and demands a climate of freedom and unconditional support which alone can guarantee its effectiveness. Religion must play a fundamental role in the whole effort of social and international education. Also the Church has the right to respect and consideration all the more necessary since its task in this field will be increasingly urgent and more difficult. In such a manner that its action powerfully helps to give a real value to technological progress: far from enslaving or downgrading man, it must serve to raise and save him, in order to finally result in a totally solidary humanity.

III. Truth of Method: The specific role of the Church

“The Church’s mission is not to realise itself the transformations which have just been mentioned, nor to create scientific, technological, economic, social and political institutions responsible for the world of labour. The means for achieving these objectives forms part of the immediate responsibility and initiative of people themselves, both governments and private associations,” Cardijn writes.

“However, as has been said, the Church has the duty to spread the eternal truths that must guide both individuals and collectivities in the search and use of technologies and institutions, which all must be at the service of man, his temporal vocation and his eternal destiny. Teaching these truths, integrating them into the whole of human and Christian life, forms an integral part of its evangelising mission, in which the hierarchy, the priesthood and the laity have their distinct but essential roles in the expansion of the Reign of God on earth.

“And while it wants to achieve the full dimensions of this task, the Church cannot allow itself to be enclosed in the community of the faithful which constitute it; it must open out to all people of good will. This is why it wishes to collaborate with all the human institutions, both private and public, national and international, which seek in the respect of their reciprocal mission, the means to ensure the happiness of peoples and the Reign of God,” Cardijn explained.

The Church had several specific roles in this, Cardijn proposed:

a) Teaching the social doctrine of the Church

b) Formation of the laity

c) Formation of young people in particular for the world of work

d) Promoting collaboration and fraternal union.

A manifesto for Vatican II

Although he made no mention at all of the coming Council, it is difficult to interpret this magisterial document as anything other than his own personal manifesto and proposed agenda for the Council.

SOURCES

Original French

Cardijn à Archbishop Dell’Acqua (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Joseph Cardijn, L’Eglise et le monde du travail (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English Translations

Cardijn to Archbishop Dell’Acqua (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Joseph Cardijn, The Church and the world of labour (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Press reports audience with John XXIII

John XXIII, Cardijn, Maione

On 10 March 1960, the Belgian Catholic paper, La Cité carried a report of the visit to Rome by Cardijn and Romeo Maione.

“On Wednesday 2 March, the Holy Father received Mgr Jos. Cardijn, chaplain general and Mr Maione, president of the International YCW, in private audience,” the report said.

“They visited Rome for six days to inform the Authorities of the Secretary of State, the Propagation of the Faith and the other Roman Congregations of the activities of the YCW in the various continents.

“Not content with reporting the major actions carried out in Latin America during 1959 – action which culminated in the meeting of the International Executive Committee in Havana, Cuba and a Study Congress of South American leaders of the YCW in Lima, Peru, International YCW leaders took the opportunity to submit to the Holy Father the objectives and the program of two new very important Continental Meetings which will take place in the coming months.

“The first will bring together 70 YCW delegates from countries in the Far East and the Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand) in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, from 26 March to 3 April. The second will be addressed to jocist leaders in the Black African countries in Leopoldville, from 1-7 August.

“Monsignor Cardijn and Mr Maione received a warm welcome everywhere. For his part, the Holy Father, also exhibited even greater confidence and hope in the apostolate of the YCW, recalling with pleasure the autograph letter which He had addressed to its founder in April 1959. He gave the visitors his most fraternal Blessing for all YCW members and for all young workers of the world.”

SOURCE

Archives Cardijn 1299

A new encyclical to update Rerum Novarum

Cardijn arrived in Rome in late February 1960 with IYCW president, Romeo Maione.

According to his notes of the trip, he was filled with “pessimism” after the first two days of meetings with several priests and with the ACLI, the Italian Catholic labour movement.

All this was transformed, however, when he met with Archbishop Dell’Acqua who informed him that he had been able to arrange a private audience with John XXIII.

This took place on 2 March 1960.

And as he had foreshadowed in his preparatory notes, Cardijn did indeed propose an encyclical to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, which was due in May 1961.

Here are his notes of the meeting in the original French although it is not always easy to distinguish what Cardijn himself had said from what John had told him:

“Mercredi des Cendres 2 mars I960 (11.45 heures à 12.15 heures) – Audience privée.

1. Voilà la Jeunesse et voilà la vigueur !

2. Remerciements pour messages à Lima, à Kuala-Lumpur, à Léopoldville. Des chefs, des responsables. Importance des trois continents.

3. Il faut être ouvert à tous: orthodoxes, protestants et tous les autres. Ne pas être contre, mais pour ; les comprendre. Les catholiques ont aussi leurs défauts et leurs fautes. (A clarifier ! : Note manuscrite de Marguerite Fiévez)

Ne pas s’arrêter à des points accessoires. Les 12 articles du Credo suffisent.

4. Les catholiques s’opposent parfois à la réunion ; par ex. en Angleterre. Ils ont souffert pendant trois siècles.

5. Le problème du travail en 1960 n’est plus celui de Léon XIII, ni même de Pie XI. Personne n’aurait pu prévoir ses dimensions, son unité, son universalité, sa technicité. Les grandes Institutions internationales : le BIT, l’UNESCO, l’ECOSOC, etc…toutes ces influences sur toutes les races, sur toute la jeunesse. Une encyclique sur le monde du travail d’aujourd’hui ferait plus de sensation que Rerum Novarum et Quadragesimo Anno. Mais positive, ouverte aux collaborations nécessaires.

Il faut faire une note là-dessus et l’envoyer.

J’ai vécu longtemps avec Deploige, Pottier, Mgr Vanneufville, Tiberghien. Le Cardinal Mercier est venu à Bergamo.

—————

Prêtres ouvriers reçus par le Saint Père

—————

Le Synode de Rome : Il y a cinquante ans, 100.000 habitants à Rome – maintenant, 2 Millions.

On va canoniser bientôt un Cardinal. Se promenant un jour près de Padoue au milieu des enfants, il disait aux mères : « Courage, le bon Dieu donnera de plus grandes marmites ». (A Romeo) Vous êtes marié ? et vous avez deux enfants – quel âge ont-ils ? on attend un troisième.

L’indépendance du Congo. Autorité du Roi Baudhuin. La nature ne fait pas de saints. Il faut des périodes de transition.

Photo – bénédiction pour tous – accolades.”

And here is an English translation:

“Ash Wednesday 2 March, I960 (11.45 a.m. to 12.15 p.m.) – Private audience.

1. Look at these Young People and look at the vigour!

2. Thanks for messages for Lima, Kuala-Lumpur, Leopoldville. Heads, leaders. Importance of the three continents.

3. We need to be open to everyone: Orthodox, Protestants and everyone else. Not to be against, but for; understand them. Catholics also have their faults and errors. (To be clarified!: Handwritten note from Marguerite Fiévez)

Don’t waste time on incidental points. The 12 articles of the Creed are sufficient.

4. Catholics sometimes oppose reunion; eg. in England. They suffered for three centuries.

5. The problem of work in 1960 is no longer that of Leo XIII, nor even of Pius XI. No one could have foreseen its dimensions, its unity, universality, technicality. The major international institutions: the ILO, UNESCO, ECOSOC, etc … all these influences on every race, on all young people. An encyclical on today’s world of work would create a greater sensation than Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno. But positive, open to necessary collaborations.

A note about it needs to be drafted and sent.

I lived for a long time with Deploige, Pottier, Mgr Vanneufville, Tiberghien. Cardinal Mercier came to Bergamo.

—————

Worker priests received by the Holy Father

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The Rome Synod Rome: Fifty years ago, 100,000 inhabitants in Rome – now 2 million.

We will soon canonise a Cardinal. Walking one day near Padua among the children, he said to the mothers: “Courage, the good Lord will give larger pots”. (To Romeo) Are you married? and you have two children – how old are they? we are waiting for a third.

The independence of the Congo. Authority of King Baudouin. Nature does not make saints. Transition periods are necessary.

Photo – blessing for all – braces.”

In any event, it is clear that the three men had a wide-ranging discussion. John was obviously concerned with interfaith issues but Cardijn managed to get his point across about the need for an encyclical.

Later, Cardijn spelt out further details of his conversation with the pope as follows:

“The [social] question is not the same in 1960 as it was in the time of Leo XIII or even in the days of Pius XI,” he told the pope.

“An encyclical on the world of work of today would have even more influence than Rerum Novarum or Quadragesimo Anno, but an encyclical that is positive and open to all the collaboration required!” he suggested, no doubt also with an eye to the forthcoming Council.

John responded positively asking Cardijn to detail his proposal in a written note that Cardijn would waste no time in drafting.

Worker priests

Significant too is the reference to worker priests visiting John XXIII, who had been nuncio in France when they first began to have problems with the Holy See under Pius XII.

Moreover, the clampdown had continued under his pontificate with a new directive nine months earlier prohibiting priests from working fulltime outside the Church.

But what did Cardijn say or ask? What was John’s response?

Personal links

John’s comments that he had lived with Deploige, Pottier, Vanneufville and Tiberghien are also illuminating.

A lawyer who later became a priest, Simon Deploige had been Cardijn’s sociology and social economy professor at Louvain in 1906. Fr Antoine Pottier was a Belgian priest, who promoted a just wage, cooperatives and trade unions who was eventually transferred to Rome after opposition from local conservative politicians.

Gaston Vanneufville and Jules Tiberghien were two French priests from Lille, who had strong links with the Catholic social movement there and who had assisted the Sillon during their period of difficulties. Later Fr Vanneufville also helped Cardijn navigate the Roman bureaucracy.

If Cardijn and John had felt a bond after their first meeting in 1959, the discovery of these close personal links must have drawn them even closer.

SOURCE

French

Joseph Cardijn, Visite à Rome, février – mars 1960 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English

Joseph Cardijn, Visit to Rome, February – March 1960 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)