Cardijn’s homage to John XXIII

Writing in the July-August edition of the IYCW Bulletin, Cardijn paid homage to the recently deceased Pope John XXIII.

Despite not knowing him before he became pope, Cardijn developed a very close relationship with the pope, who had promised to support him even more than Pius XI and Pius XII had done.

Here is his homage to John XXIII.

Bulletin of the International YCW

July – August 1963 No. 90

During the reign of John XXIII: A New Pentecost

In five years John XXIII, the “transition Pope” has renewed the Church and the world! “Et renovabis faciem terrae…”.

He spoke so freely of a new Pentecost!

I will never forget our first meeting.

I was in New Zealand when we learnt on the radio through the Archbishop of Christchurch of the death of Pius XII. After a session of fervent prayer in the chapel, we asked ourselves: “How will we find a worthy successor to such a great and holy Pope?”

I continued on my voyage to Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia and it was at the airport of Formosa (now Taiwan) that people told us: “We have a new Pope: John XXIII!”

– John XXIII, who is he?

– It’s Cardinal Roncalli, the Patriarch of Venice

– Roncalli… never heard of him!

A little later, I went to Rome after also visiting Japan, Korea and finishing my tour of Asian countries. The Pope received me. I wanted to kneel down and ask for his blessing… but he came to me with open arms and embraced me:

– I have known you for such a long time! I have been following you and your work. I will support the YCW as Pius XI and Pius XII, indeed even more than they did!

He stopped and looked at me:

– How old are you?

– Holy Father, I was born in 82.

– And I was born in 81!

– What month?

– November, Holy Father…

– Me too. What day? I was born on the 25, the feast of St Catherine! You see, we are young! We will work together for the salvation of the workers…

And he told me about his life, he spoke about his family, the reforms that he proposed to introduce at the Vatican in relation to the salaries of the guards, employees and families.

I saw him again in 1959:

– Very Holy Father, could I propose to the Pope an idea that has come to me? In two years, in 1961, it will be the 70th anniversary of Rerum Novarum. The times and the problems have completely changed… And I launched into an explanation.

– Send me a written note!

How many times he thanked me for it! He did not merely want a doctrine; he lived it and he wanted the world to live it: the dignity of the most human person, the poorest, of every race and colour; the dignity of the poorest family. And with that, all the consequences and all the applications from the social and human point of view; the relations between communities, based not on force, arms and profit, but on openness, loyalty, and the most absolute solidarity; the price finally, between all and for all, guaranteed by a just authority instituted, recognised and supported by all, and not by an atomic power that would ruin the world.

To achieve this, dialogue is necessary, person to person contact, simple, open, straight, whatever our opinion, ideology or the religion of our interlocutor.

And John XXIII opened the Vatican to all, friends and adversaries. Or rather, he did not have adversaries, only misunderstanding and obscurities. And whatever the cost these needed to disappear. He did not know obstacles, he left the Vatican, visited sick friends, hospitals, handicapped asylums, poor parishes and prisons. He wanted to see, to understand, to be present.

And to achieve this, he decided that all the bishops and their advisers would meet in Rome in an Ecumenical Council where they would discuss problems, seek solutions, not secretly but we could say in the open air in front of representatives of other Churches and confessions as well a the press and international opinion.

That took five years… Five years of youth, will, courage, prayer and work! With no rest. And the world, the whole world was touched, turned upside down, more than by an atomic bomb!

John XXIII died on the second day of Pentecost. “Send forth your Spirit, Lord, and you will renew the face of the earth…”

May the Holy Spirit give to the Church and to the world a new John XXIII!

Jos. Cardijn.

(Translation Stefan Gigacz, 27 May 2012, Version 1.0)

SOURCE

Joseph Cardijn, During the reign of John XXIII: A New Pentecost (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Election results announced

On 20 October 1962, the results of the elections for the conciliar commissions were announced.

In addition to the 160 elected bishops, John XXIII added nine appointed members bringing the total number in each commission to twenty-five.

Although there was no Jocist ‘ticket,’ the results revealed a significant representation of movement-linked bishops in nearly every Commission.

This was particularly so in the all-important Doctrinal Commission on Faith and Morals (Doctrinal Commission) and in the Lay Apostolate Commission (LAC), which now had the clumsy, formal title of Commission on the Apostolate of the Faithful, Press and Public Spectacles [sic], each of which each included at least eight such bishops.

Doctrinal Commission

Elected

Gabriel-Marie Garrone, longstanding proponent of the JOC
Joseph Schröffer, who participated in the IYCW Rome pilgrimage in 1957
Alfredo Scherer, a JOC supporter from Brazil
Paul Emile Léger, a Canadian proponent of the SCA movements
André-Marie Charue, who had links with the Belgian JOC back to 1924
Marcos McGrath CSC, Holy Cross father and JOC patron in Panama
Maurice Roy, pioneer JOC chaplain, cousin of Quebec JOC founder, Henri Roy

Appointed

Bishop Georges Pelletier, Canadian bishop closely linked to the SCA movements

Lay Apostolate Commission

Elected members

Manuel Larrain, pioneer of Specialised Catholic Action in Chile
Franz Hengsbach, bishop of Essen, seat of the German JOC/CAJ
Jacques Ménager, bishop responsible for Catholic Action movements in France
John E. Petit, an English bishop close to the YCW
Joseph Blomjous, of Dutch origin, supporter of the SCA movements in Tanzania
Paul Yu Pin, JOC pioneer in China before coming to Formosa (Taiwan)
Gerardus De Vet, director of (Specialised) Catholic Action, Breda, Netherlands

Appointed

René Stourm, an early JOC chaplain in France

This gave the Jocist bishops close to a third of the numbers in each of these commissions, with the former responsible for the future Lumen Gentium, and both responsible for the eventual Gaudium et Spes.

Other members of the LAC also supported the JOC and Specialised Catholic Action to varying extents, including Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez, the Salesian archbishop of Santiago, who admired Cardijn, Emilio Guano, a former International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS-Pax Romana) chaplain from Italy, as well as Castellano and Luigi Civardi
from Italian Catholic Action.

The Doctrinal Commission also included Vienna Cardinal Franz König, who had known Cardijn for decades particularly through the Pax Romana network.

A notable absentee in the LAC, however, was Cardijn’s Belgian ally, Charles-Marie Himmer, whose nomination had been opposed by Suenens, who confirmed this in a 16 October 1962 letter to Veronica O’Brien of the Legion of Mary:In any event, the 65 Belgian missionary bishops are behind me – which is not the case for the seven here (i.e. the seven diocesan bishops)… I felt this in De Smedt’s manoeuvres which aimed to place Himmer on the list of candidates for the Catholic Action Commission (i.e. Lay Apostolate Commission). I told him privately that I did not agree with the idea but he publicly returned to the charge for him to be included on our list.

Indeed, Suenens was ‘very isolated among the Belgian bishops on account of his ideas of the lay apostolate,’ as Congar noted, although he remained undeterred in his campaign against the alleged ‘monopolisation’ of Catholic Action.

Other Commissions

Promisingly, every other commission also included a Jocist presence.

Bishops and Government of Dioceses

Emile Guerry, another French JOC pioneer
Pierre Veuillot, previously in the Holy See, connected to France’s Mission ouvrière

Discipline and Sacraments

Alexandre Renard, Liénart protégé, involved in the Ecole Missionaire du Travail in Lille

Discipline of the Clergy and the Christian People

Guillaume Van Zuylen, bishop of Liège, Belgium
Agnelo Rossi, JUC/JIC chaplain from Brazil
François Marty, JOC/JAC chaplain in France
Thomas Cooray omi, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Religious

Gerard Huyghe, bishop of Arras, another Liénart protégé and promoter of SCA
Jean Janssens SJ, the Jesuit Superior General and close friend of Cardijn

Missions

Guy Riobé, bishop of Orleans, JAC chaplain and promoter of JOC and ACO
Jean Zoa, bishop of Yaoundé, Cameroon, former JOC chaplain
Cardinal Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, a Cardijn disciple since the 1930s

Liturgy

Henri Jenny, Sillon sympathiser from Lille, and auxiliary bishop to Guerry at Cambrai
Joseph Malula, JOC chaplain from Congo Kinshasa
Enrique Rau, former national chaplain of JOC Argentina
Bernardo Fey Schneider, former national chaplain of JOC Bolivia
Seminaries, Studies and Catholic Education
Ramon Bogarin, JOC founder in Paraguay
Denis Hurley omi, Cardijn disciple from South Africa
Emile Blanchet, participated in 1950 JOC Internationale congress, Brussels
Justin Simonds, Melbourne co-adjutor and long-time JOC supporter

Christian Unity

Christian Unity
Emile-Joseph De Smedt, former JOCF chaplain and close to Cardijn

, former JOCF chaplain and close to Cardijn

Oriental Churches

Melkite Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh

SOURCE

Stefan Gigacz, The Leaven in the Council, Chapter 7, The Council opens without Cardijn (Australian Cardijn Institute)

Cardinal Liénart upends the Council agenda

The first business session, or First General Congregation of the Council, took place on Saturday 13 October.

The opening item was the election of sixteen Council Fathers to each of the ten conciliar commissions.

Before Cardinal Tisserant, the session president, could begin, however, Cardinal Achille Liénart of Lille rose to make a statement that would upend the Council’s work.

Like many others, Liénart was unhappy with most draft schemas. As he later recalled, the objective, as defined by John XXIII, was not ‘to formulate new doctrinal definitions, but rather to present, in a form better adapted to modern minds, all the truths already established… that [the Church] had the mission of transmitting to every generation.’

This meant, Liénart believed, that the gathered bishops had to develop ‘une pensée commune’ – ‘a common way of thinking’ – as a basis for ‘the total revision of their pastoral attitudes and to engage the Church in the new way where its permanent mission called it today?’

Consequently, the choice of the ‘the most qualified’ commission members was of the greatest importance. But how to identify them if they did not know each other, he asked:

Abruptly, I leaned towards the Cardinal president to tell him in a low voice: ‘Eminence, it is truly impossible to vote like this… If you allow me, I am going to take the microphone.’ ‘I cannot give it to you,’ he replied… So, I said to him, ‘Excuse me but I am going to speak…’.


I rose… to request that a reasonable time be given so we could better inform ourselves of the best election candidates…. Cardinal Frings, archbishop of Cologne, who was sitting beside me at the presidency table, also rose to offer his support and the applause doubled.

This forced the hand of the presidency breaching the stranglehold that the Roman Curia had exercised over the Council. Although Liénart denied that his intervention was ‘a coup planned ahead,’ other bishops had approached him, and even provided him with draft texts for his intervention, including his compatriots Cardinal Joseph-Charles Lefebvre, Garrone and Ancel. Camara apparently also wanted a postponement, while others such as the South African Denis Hurley ‘knew what was brewing.’

SOURCES

Stefan Gigacz, The Leaven in the Council, Chapter 7, The Council opens without Cardijn (Australian Cardijn Institute)

Daybook, Sessions 1-2, 24: https://vaticaniiat50.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/council-daybook-vol-1-opening-general-congregation/

Achille Liénart, “Vatican II” in Mélanges de Science Religieuse, 33, Numéro Supplémentaire (1963): 63.

PHOTO

Le cardinal Liénart (à droite) avec Mgr Dubois pendant le concile Vatican II / Roman Catholic Diocese of Besançon / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

John XXIII opens Council

On 11 October 1962 in the presence of 2540 bishops from around the world, Pope John XXIII officially opened the First Session of Vatican II.

In his speech, he emphasised that the Council’s primary purpose was not to discuss “the themes of ecclesiastical doctrine” but to examine, deepen and expound it “according to what is required by our times.”

“We must not only guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity,” the pope warned, “but, without fear, we must continue in the work that our age demands, following the path that the Church has traveled for almost twenty centuries.”

“Great importance should be attached to this method and, if necessary, applied with patience; that is, one must adopt that form of exposition which most corresponds to the magisterium, whose nature is predominantly pastoral,” stated.

SOURCE

John XXIII, Solemn Opening of the Second Vatican Council, Speech of the Holy Father (Vatican.va)

READ MORE

Opening General Congregation
October 11, 1962

Pope John XXIII set the tone for the Second Vatican Council by declaring at its solemn opening that it would be a council of hope and a preparation for Christian unity.

Pope John declared that the Church “considers it her duty to work actively” toward the realization of Christ’s prayer for Christian unity.

He also stressed that the prophets of disaster are not to be heeded and that the ecumenical council will concentrate on emphasizing the validity of the Church’s teaching rather than concern itself with condemning heresies.

The Pope proclaimed his fearless hope that the council “will bring the Church up-to-date where required.” He assured the cardinals and bishops gathered around him near the tomb of St. Peter that the council will compel “men, families and peoples everywhere to turn their minds toward heavenly things.”

He confessed that he has frequently been bothered by prophets of doom, who with misplaced zeal have tried to convince him that the modern world is lost in a “morass of prevarication and ruin.”

These prophets, the Pope noted, say that our era in comparison with past ages is constantly growing worse. Such men have learned nothing from history, Pope John said, for they seem to believe that “in the past, particularly at the time of former councils, everything was a full triumph for the Christian idea and way of life and for proper religious liberty.”

In actual fact, the Pope said, these prophets of disaster are wrong. Divine Providence is guiding the Church today, he continued, “toward a new order in human relations wherein — by men’s own efforts and even beyond their greatest expectations — the superior and inscrutable designs of God’s will are being fulfilled.”

The Pope said that he sees even in the constant differences among men advantages that lead to the greater good of the Church.

Pope John expressed his gladness that the ecumenical council can meet in an atmosphere of freedom from the political pressures exerted on past councils.

Even though the majority of mankind today is locked in controversy over the direction in which political and economic order should be pursued, he said, and although vast numbers have no time or regard for spiritual reality, “the new conditions of modern life have at least this advantage: They have eliminated those innumerable obstacles by which at one time the sons of this world impeded the free action of the Church.”

The Pope noted with sorrow the absence of many bishops restrained by godless governments. But he said that he foresees that the Church, untrammeled by political considerations, will “from this Vatican basilica, as if from a second apostolic cenacle, now through the intervention of her bishops, raise her voice anew with resonant majesty and greatness.”

The principal concern of the new council is to discover methods whereby the deposit of Christian doctrine will be both safeguarded and taught more effectively, he continued. It will teach men how to fulfill their duties as citizens both of heaven and earth, he said.

Commenting on Christ’s words, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice,” the Pope cautioned that the second part of this quotation – “and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6, 33) — must constantly be kept in mind. This means, he said, that those who seek evangelical perfection with all their might must not fail to make themselves useful to society.

While the doctrine of the Church is to influence human activities in all fields, it is necessary that the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers, he said, adding:

“At the same time, however, she must ever look to the present, to new conditions and new forms of life introduced into the modern world which have opened new, avenues to the Catholic apostolate.”

The 2lst ecumenical council, drawing on the wealth of the Church’s juridical, liturgical, apostolic and administrative experience, will transmit to the world without distortion the doctrines of the Church, he said.

But the key point of the council, the Pope declared, is not the discussion of one article or another the fundamental doctrine of the Church. He noted that what as been taught by the Fathers and theologians is presumed to be familiar to all.

Rather, he said, what the world expects is “a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciences, in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought.” The Church desires that the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith should now be conveyed in an effective “pastoral” manner, he declared.

Referring to the question of the condemnation of heresies, Pope John said: “While the Church has always repressed errors and frequently in the past condemned them with great severity, today the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.

“She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching, rather than by condemnation.”

In fact, he said, the fallacious opinions and dangerous concepts that must always be guarded against are so evidently in contrast with the truth, that “by now it would seem that men of themselves are inclined to condemn them, particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law or place excessive confidence in technical progress and a well-being based exclusively on the comforts of life.”

Noting the presence of many important personalities from all over the world, the Pope assured them of a new hope which, seconding the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, would certainly make the council “a revolutionary event not merely for the well-being of the Church but for the progress of human society.”

Msgr. James I. Tucek
NC Rome bureau chief

SOURCE

Pope Opens Council, Says Prophets of Doom Should Be Ignored (Vatican II @ 50)

PHOTO

Lothar Wolleh / Public domain/Wikimedia

The Coming Council

In February 1962, Cardijn published his reflections and desires for the quickly approaching First Session of Vatican II in an article for the IYCW Bulletin entitled “The Coming Council”

He wrote:

The Coming Council

Pope John XXIII has just convoked an Ecumenical Council in Rome this year. The exact date has not yet been fixed but the solemn convocation made by the Supreme Head of the Church and published by the press and radio of the whole world has raised interest and expectations among the whole of humanity which shows its significance that everyone – believers and non-believers – attach to this initiative of the Holy Father.

Jocist militants, and through them, all young people and all adult workers must be the first to understand and to make their comrades understand the significance of the coming council. And as far as possible, they must take part in its preparation, and in the influence that it will have on the whole of humanity.

The Church, its mission and its leaders

To understand the importance of the Ecumenical Council, we need to consider and study it in the light of the mission of the Church.

Christ, God made man to save all people, who accomplished his earthly mission in Palestine around 1962 years ago, wanted this mission to continue in a visible and irrefutable way and to extend to the ends of the work and the whole of humanity.

To ensure this continuity and its extension, he himself chose and consecrated his replacements and successors

  1. who would teach the doctrine
  1. that would guarantee his presence
  1. that would unite all those who believe in him in a visible community, the Church
  1. in brief, that would extend the Kingdom of God on earth as in heaven, in time and in eternity.

These successors of the Redemptive Mission of Christ, designated and consecrated by Himself, are called Apostles: among themselves they form a college united with a leader invested by Christ, and charged with ensuring the Truth, Unity, and Authenticity of the Church, its message and its mission.

Peter and the other apostles themselves designated their own successors, the Pope and the bishops, and transmitted to them their divine powers received from Christ. These authentic successors in the same way transmitted their powers to their successors and replacements, thus guaranteeing the presence of Christ, his grace and his doctrine across the centuries in the whole Church united to them and spread across the whole earth.

The Councils

From the beginning of its history, the Church has had to face up to errors and divisions that are inevitable in any human endeavour, even though it this endeavour has a divine origin and aid. This is why the Apostles met together at certain times, in solemn assemblies, to declare and to specify together the doctrine of Christ, his presence and his action in the Church and to guarantee union in the faith and in the mission of the Church to all the faithful.

These assemblies common to all the leaders of the Church, charged with determining the ensemble of the doctrine of Christ, have been given the title of Ecumenical Councils because they represent the whole Church, as Christ wanted it, fixing the revealed truths (dogmas), condemning errors (heresies), adopting all the measures necessary to the life and extension of the Church as well as the life of faith and salvation of its members.

These conciliar assemblies initially included very few members from very few countries, given that while the Church was very widely spread it was very difficult to travel.

The coming Ecumenical Council

That which distinguished the coming Ecumenical Council first of all is that it will bring together, with the Pope around 3,000 bishops from every continent, from every race and every colour, because today the Church has extended not only to the whole earth but it has bishops, replacements of Christ, belonging to all the peoples of the world.

What will strike many more in the coming Council will be the complete unity of all the bishops united with the Pope, in Truth and Charity, uniquely preoccupied to proclaim and to specify the doctrine of Christ, the manner of communicating the life of Christ, and to transmit to all people its spirit of holiness, salvation and fraternity.

Among the points that will be most striking for public opinion in the modern world and particularly among workers,

  • will be the concerns relating to the place and mission of the simple faithful, the most humble as well as the richest, in the Church of Christ;
  • will also be the desire and the means to unite those who believe in Christ, whatever divisions have separated them over the centuries;
  • will be the aspiration that is so deep today to unite and enable the collaboration of all those who believe in a God, origin and end of all people as well as of all creation, Father of all the living, inspiration of a spirit of fraternity, justice and mutual aid among all peoples.

It suffices to reflect a little on the significance of these problems to understand the consequences of the coming Council for the future of the Church and humanity.

+

Most of all we must not believe that all the problems and solutions studied by the Council will be improvised. In fact, for more than two years all the bishops of the world have been consulted on these problems, as well as all the Catholic universities, all religious frameworks, have been invited to make known the problems that interest the Church in the modern world and that all the faithful have been either individually or collectively to make known their aspirations and desires. The YCW has also taken part in this preparatory reflection.

Study commissions have been created with qualified members of the Hierarchy, with competencies and representatives from organisations concerned with all the problems of interest to the Church and to humanity. All these working commissions have worked and are working tirelessly to present these problems and drafts of solutions.

Armed with the fruit of all this work and enlightened by the Spirit of Truth who illuminates the whole Church and in particular those responsible for its doctrine and mission, namely “the Fathers of the Council” will be truly for the awaiting world the voice of the Church that will proclaim the doctrine of salvation brought by Christ, who alone, in this world of transformation, est will forever remain the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only Saviour of the living and the dead.

It will be like a new Pentecost proclaiming the way of union and Peace to a world so scattered and it will open up the perspectives of Eternity going beyond the problems of time.

In this responsibility for the Council, let us understand and take up our own responsibility. Let us be able to say later that the Council of 1962 was a step in our life, life of prayer and apostolate. It has made us become more conscious of our own responsibility in the Church and in the world.

The Council must contribute to making the Church the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

We are this Church: let us be even more in solidarity than ever with the Pope and the Bishops, will all the faithful whoever they are and let them focus in order to become responsible for the world and humanity.

Above all let us not believe that the Council itself will resolve all the problems: it will be up to us, to take inspiration from its lights and its directives in order to better consecrate our lives to all the goals that the Church will have thus better highlighted and which will bring all towards the more perfect Kingdom of Christ on earth and towards the salvation of the whole of humanity.

– Joseph Cardijn

IYCW Leaders Bulletin, February 1962

SOURCE

Joseph Cardijn, The Coming Council (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Suenens appointed archbishop of Malines-Brussels

On 24 November 1961, Pope John XXIII appointed Auxiliary Bishop Leo-Jozef Suenens as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels, succeeding Cardinal Jozef-Ernest Van Roey.

Cardijn was still travelling in Latin America at this time and it is not clear when he learned of this appointment.

Unlike Van Roey, who had long supported Cardijn and the JOC, Suenens was not a supporter of the Specialised Catholic Action movements.

Indeed, in 1958, Suenens had published an article “L’unité multiforme de l’Action catholique” in which he criticised what he characterised as the “monopoly of Catholic Action” by “certain particular forms of organised lay apostolate” by which he meant the Specialised Catholic Action movements.

In addition, Cardijn had also experienced his own difficulties with Suenens, who as diocesan censor had sought to make the JOC chaplain change some of his writings.

Although we have no record of Cardijn’s reaction, the appointment must have concerned him.

REFERENCES

Leo-Jozef Cardinal Suenens (Catholic Hierarchy)

Léo-Jozef Suenens, L’unité multiforme de l’Action catholique (Nouvelle Revue Théologique)

Go ahead sign from John XXIII

PETROPOLIS, Brazil, Nov. 9 (NC) —The Young Christian Workers at their second international congress here received a pat on the back and a go-ahead sign sent in behalf of His Holiness Pope John XXIII.

Amleto Cardinal Cicognani, Papal Secretary of State, wrote that “the Holy Father, who is extremely pleased by the progress accomplished by the YCWs, encourages them with all his heart to go forward, strengthened by the grace of Christ Jesus.”

The letter written in behalf of Pope John noted that the congress had a double theme—preparation for family life and the international action of the YCW. It continued:

“It Is absolutely necessary that, in the upheavals of the modern world, the family should retain its character as a sacred sanctuary, in which man and woman fulfill themselves in conjugal love and the Joys of fatherhood and motherhood. The YCW has already done a great deal, but it will never be able to enough to train these young people who tomorrow will be the heads of families and the guardians of homes.

“And we must rejoice that its representatives should make their voices heard at the great international organizations in favor of legislation which will allow all young workers to enjoy living and working conditions which would promote the greater human and Christian fulfillment of their personalities.”

Cardinal Cicognani transmitted the Pope’s wish that the YCW congress would “be the starting point of anew inpulse of the Young Christian Workers, especially in the countries of Latin America, which are so dear to him.”

The letter, addressed to Canada’s Romeo Malone, retiring president of the International YCW, had a special commendation for “tireless Msgr. (Joseph) Cardijn,” the founder and chaplain general of the movement.

SOURCE

YCW gets blessing, go-ahead from Pope John; Stress laid on family, international work (NCWC News Service)

YCW birthday pageant for John XXIII

Petropolis, Brazil, Nov. 7 —Youthful workers of the world celebrated the birthday of His Holiness Pope John XXIII with a pageant portraying the problems of farm laborers.

The pageant, a feature of the second world congress of the Young Christian Workers, invoked the principles of the Pope*s recent encyclical on social Justice.

The actors engaged the audience of delegates from 85 nations in a dialogue-chorus appealing for the development of backward countries.

During the pageant a group of young Congolese sang a “Missa Luba,” which combined Gregorian melodies with African rhythms in a dialogue between the Church of the past and the Church of the future.

The pageant and the religious music were presented on November 4, fourth day of the 13-day congress. Pope John marked his birthday that day, third anniversary of his coronation, although he does not reach the age of 80 until November 25.

A dramatic moment in the Missa Luba came at the Credo, when the words of Christ’s death were accompanied by the muffled beat of drums which announce the death of a great king in the Congo. Word of the Resurrection was greeted with a Joyous beating of Jungle tomtoms.

At the close of the pageant, delegates from all 85 nations filed before the microphone to address birthday greetings to the Pope in their native languages. A series of small congresses were held in 150 Brazilian cities to prepare for the world congress here.

The Young Christian Workers have about half a million members in Brazil. Their world membership Is edging toward the three-million mark. Simultaneous with the YCW world congress in this resort town 25 miles from Rio de Janeiro, the first National Congress of Young Workers met in Rio. 

Both congresses are to close at a Joint rally in a sports stadium.

Many of the delegates helped pay the passage of delegates unable to purchase their own tickets. Brazil*s YCW contributed about $3-4,000 to pay hotel expenses for delegates.

SOURCE

Congress honors birthday of pope with farm pageant (N.C.W.C. News Service)

Papal message for the Rio Council

One of Cardijn’s concerns while in Rome was evidently to ensure that there was a papal message for the imminent International Council of the YCW due to start shortly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He was not disappointed.

On 25 October 1961, Cardinal Amleto Cicognani addressed a letter on behalf of John XXIII to (outgoing) IYCW president, Romeo Maione.

“The presence at this Brazilian meeting of nearly 300 national leaders of the Y.C.W. of all countries is a witness to the vitality of your movement throughout the world and there is no doubt that this meeting will result in a new missionary development and strengthen the union of young workers of all races and colours in the Mystical Body of Christ,” Cardinal Cicognani wrote.

“The Holy Father, who is extremely pleased by the progress accomplished by the Y.C.W.’s, encourages them with all his heart to go forward, strengthened by the grace of Christ Jesus. For it is in Him that they must be, as the Apostle says, “rooted and built up, and confirmed in the faith, abounding in Him in thanksgiving,” (Col. 2, 7). What a splendid task it is to share in the redemption of all the working youth of the world and to reveal to it, no matter what be its material, moral and spiritual misery, the image of the living God, creator and redeemer of our souls!

“Thus the Y.C.W.’s, by their very life, their work sanctified by the state of grace, and their action based on prayer and nourished with sacramental graces, will share in the edification of the body of Christ (Eph, A, 12). United in the friendship and animated by charity, their constant concern will be to achieve a personal apostolate in their environment, in union with the other Catholic youth movements, and to give to their working comrades the example of an attractive Christian community.

Preparing young workers for family life

Evidently, Cardinal Cicognani had been well briefed on the topics the Council was to deal with.

“The programme of these days of study is largely concerned with “the preparation of young workers for family life” and the international action of the Y,C.W. ,” he continued. “These are without doubt two subjects of capital importance.    

“For it is absolutely necessary that, in the upheavals of the modern world, the family should retain its character as a sacred sanctuary, in which man and woman fulfil themselves in conjugal love and the joys of fatherhood and mother hood. The Y.C.W. has already done a great deal, but it will never do enough to train these young people, who to morrow will be the heads of families and the guardians of homes. And we must rejoice that its representatives should make their voice heard at the great international organizations in favour of legislation enabling still more all young workers to enjoy conditions of life and work permitting the greater human and Christian fulfilment of their personalities.

Mater et Magistra

And Cardinal Cicognani did not miss the opportunity to mention Pope John’s recent encyclical, Mater et Magistra, which had been suggested by Cardijn himself and specifically recommended the Jocist “see-judge-act” method.

“The Holy Father, who again recently has expressed his paternal solicitude for all workers in his Encyclical Letter MATER ET MAGISTRA, is hoping that the Rio de Janeiro meeting will mark a new development of the Y.C.W., especially in the countries of Latin America, which are so dear to him.

“And that is why he grants a fatherly Apostolic Blessing to tireless Mgr. Cardijn, to yourself who are to preside this meeting, to all taking part in this Second International Council, and to all the chaplains and leaders of the great Y.C.W. family throughout the world.

“I am happy to send you this precious encouragement of His Holiness and I should like to express my own best wishes for the work of the leaders of the groat international Catholic movement of young workers,” the cardinal concluded.

SOURCE

ORIGINAL FRENCH

Cardinal Amleto Cicognani – Romeo Maione 25 10 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Cardinal Amleto Cicognani – Romeo Maione 25 10 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

REFERENCES

Pope John XXIII, Mater et Magistra (Vatican.va)

Amleto Cardinal Cicognani (Catholic Hierarchy)

From mustard seed to enormous tree

Cardinal Gracias – Message to IYCW World Council Rio de Janeiro 1961

On 7 October 1961, Cardinal Valerian Gracias of Bombay, India, addressed a message to the IYCW for its International Council in Rio de Janeiro.

7th October, 1961

I am happy to learn that the 2nd International Council of the Y.C.W. (J.O.C.) will be held at Rio de Janeiro from the 2nd to the 19th November, 1961. Delegates from all over the world will assemble to exchange views, to assess what has been done in the past and to plan for the future. The very fact that the delegates meet will be for each one of them a source of added strength and encouragement for the great and noble vocation which is theirs as Young Christian Workers of the world. The Council will certainly contribute to a greater sense of solidarity and help in no small measure to further promote the cause of this apostolate of the Young Workers.

This movement, begun in Belgium under Canon Cardijn, has slowly developed and gained momentum like the proverbial mustard seed of the Gospel, and to-day it has blossomed into an enormous tree with its branches outspread to carry the Christian message far and wide. No greater compliment could have been paid to the Y.C.W. movement than the recent reference made by our Holy Father, Pope John XXIII, in his recent Encyclical Letter “MATER ET MAGISTRA”, in which he clearly indicates the three stages in the practical application of social principles: look, judge, act, and says:

“It is particularly important that youth be made to dwell often on these three stages, and as far as possible, reduce them to action. The knowledge acquired in this way does not remain merely abstract ideas but is something to be translated into deed.”

I bless abundantly all the delegates who will assemble for the 2nd International Council and wish their deliberations every success.

+Valerian Cardinal Gracias

Archbishop of Bombay

Cardinal Van Roey, foe of Nazis, dead at 87

BRUSSELS, Aug. 10—Requiem Mass has been offered here for Josef Cardinal van Roey, who defied the nazis, battled the communists and brought school peace to his nation after more than a century of Church-State strife.

The Archbishop of Malines died (Aug. 6) at the age of 87. Long a victim of a circulatory ailment, he took a turn for the worse and received Extreme Unction the day before his death.

Belgium’s King Baudouin and Queen Pablóla, whom the Cardinal married last December, were out of the country when he died. They were expected to return for his funeral. Also due to return for the funeral was Belgian Premier Theo Lefevre.

After the Requiem Mass in St. Rombaut’a cathedral, presided over by Archbishop Efrem Forni, Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, the cardinal was buried in the cathedral’s crypt.

Cardinal van Roey was the third member of the College of Cardinals to die within eight days. Domenico Cardinal Tardini died on July 30 and Nicola Cardinal Canall died on August 3. Their deaths reduce membership in the Sacred College to 81.

(At his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, Italy, His Holiness Pope John XXIII went to his private chapel to pray as soon as he was told of Cardinal van Roey’s death. The Pope offered his August 7 Mass for the repose of the Cardinal’s soul.)

Cardinal van Roey was bom in Vorsselaer, Belgium, on January 13, 1874. After studying at the Malines seminary he was ordained a priest on September 18, 1897.

After earning a doctorate at the Catholic University of Louvain, he taught theology there until 1907# when he was made vicar general, of the Malines archdiocese. He was named Archbishop of Malines in 1926 and created a cardinal a year later.

The Cardinal took a special interest in Catholic Action activities and set up a Catholic Action committee in every parish to coordinate the work of various organizations.

The Catholic congress at Malines which he organized in 1936 to give the nation’s Catholics doctrinal direction on religious, social, economic and cultural matters, is a milestone in the history of the Churoh In Belgium.

The rise of nazism in Europe brought the Cardinal perhaps the greatest challenge of his career. His reaction was among his greatest achievements.

Even before the outbreak of war, in Deoember, 1938, Cardinal Van Roey condemned nazi race theories as an expression of materialism. The Cardinal stated: “To consider the will, morality and even religion as coining from the blood is to reduce high values to mere material things.” Such race theories, he added, represent for men “what stockbreeding is for cattle.”

With the fall and occupation of Belgium in the early days of World War II, the Cardinal became a center of resistance to the nazi invaders. His resistance at first was of the passive variety, a display of the silent diplomacy which had earned him a reputation as the “silent Cardinal.” By simply refusing to reply either to friendly overtures or gibes from the nazis, the Cardinal frustrated their efforts to persuade Catholics to collaborate with them.

But when Belgian quislings began a violent attack on the Church, the Cardinal fought back.

“The unjustified invasion of a country,” he declared in an address to a Catholic Action group in September, 1941, “cannot be defended on moral grounds. There are those who say that the Church can adapt Itself to any regime. We must distinguish. The Church adapts herself to any regime that safeguards liberty and does not violate conscience. If a regime violates the rights of conscience, the Church does not adapt herself.”

He added: “It is not licit for Catholics to collaborate in the introduction of a regime of oppression… Reason and good sense will direct us in the way of confidence, or resistance, because we are certain that our country will be restored and will rise again.”

The Cardinal followed his words with actions. He ordered the expulsion from Catholic schools of students who Joined nazi youth organizations, forbade Catholics to read collaborationist papers, refused admittance to churches to uniformed groups of collaborators.

Following the war the Cardinal was quid: to recognize and speak out against the threat of communism. In a pastoral letter to Belgian Catholics he said: “We admired the Russians when they were defending their country and contributing to the collapse of the nazis. Why should Russia now sully its glory by persecuting millions for their faith?”

As Europe strove to recover from the effects of the war, Cardinal van Roey wrote in “While the United States—whose spirit of human solidarity and Christian charity has been admirable all over Europe since the end of the fighting—proposes to offer material help enabling exhausted nations to recuperate, one witnesses this incredible spectacle: Soviet Russia, its satellites and partisans, not only repudiate any help for the peoples that they dominate, but strain every nerve to thwart this kind offer.”

Meanwhile, the Cardinal also warned against a postwar wave of anticlericalism in Belgium, which manifested itself especially in efforts to reduce the subsidies granted by the government to Catholic schools. Typical of his many statements on this subject was his 1957 Lenten pastoral, which declared that such a campaign to impede Catholic education “hurts freedom of conscience and violates equality among citizens.”

His efforts led to the 1958 school pact signed by Belgium’s three main political parties which ended the generations-old controversy over government aid to Catholic schools. The pact doubled the subsidies granted to Church schools and put them on a par with provincial and local-government schools in regard to state aid.

Early in 1960 the Cardinal and Belgium’s Catholics were praised for their efforts to spread the Faith in the Belgian Congo, now an independent nation. The praise came In a letter to Cardinal van Roey from Gregorio Pietro XV Cardinal Agagianlan, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.

At the same time Cardinal van Roey, who had given protection to persecuted Belgian Jews as he fought the nazis during the wartime occupation, again spoke out against a renewed wave of antisemitism.

Last December the Cardinal successfully urged workers engaged in a series of strikes that threatened to paralyze the nation to return to their Jobs. During the same month he officiated at King Baudouin’s marriage.

SOURCE

Catholic News Service – Newsfeeds, 7 August 1961 (Catholic News Archive)

Requests to Cardinal Dell’Acqua

As usual, Cardijn maximised his trips to Rome, taking the opportunity to visit various Vatican officials.

On 3 July, he met with Pope John XXIII’s Substitute, Archbishop Angelo Dell’Acqua to make a number of requests that he summarised in an aide-mémoire he prepared:

First, he requested a “”essage from the Holy Father for Rio de Janeiro” i.e. the International YCW World Council scheduled for the end of 1961.

Secondly, he requested “honorary distinctions for the former leaders of the YCW International Bureau (1957 to 1961).”

Thirdly, he sought an honour for “the former National President of the KAJ (JOC Flemish) on the occasion of the 50th pilgrimage to Lourdes that he was organising for the sick.”

Fourthly, he raised the problem of how to contact the JOC in post-revolutionary Cuba.

“The regime and situation of certain States, such as Cuba, for example, makes it very difficult for the International Secretariat of the YCW to transmit its advice and the apostolic directives intended for them to the YCWs of these countries,” he explained.

“Would it be possible for the International Secretariat of the YCW to submit these communications in an open envelope to the Belgian Nunciature with a request to forward them to the Secretariat of State which would determine the possibility of sending them through diplomatic channels to the Representatives of the Holy See in these countries?”

Finally, in a handwritten addition, he requested financial assistance for the travel of World Council delegates from “Africa, Asia, certain European countries (illegible) …. Central America.”

It seems he had received assurances of this from Archbishops Samorè (Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs) and Sigismondi (Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith) on this matter.

SOURCES

French

Visite à Mgr Dell’Acqua 03 07 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Requête à Mgr Dell’Acqua 03 07 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English

Visit to Archbishop Dell’Acqua 03 07 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Request to Archbishop Dell’Acqua 03 07 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Preparing for another trip to Rome

Cardijn - Dell'Acqua 1961 06 20

On 20 June 1961, Cardijn wrote to Pope John XXIII’s Substitute, Archbishop Angelo Dell’Acqua, to inform him that he would soon be in Rome again and to seek another meeting with him. As always he was concerned with the future of the International YCW.

“I am sorry for disturbing Your Excellency,” Cardijn began. “I am coming to Rome from 3rd to 13th July. I need to attend the meetings of the Pontifical Commission for the Lay Apostolate until Saturday evening 8 July. The following three days I will be free to make a few visits.

“I would be very grateful if Your Excellency could receive me for a few moments, so that I could tell Him about our very important World Council in Rio de Janeiro in November, which will certainly decide the future of the international YCW.”

Never one to miss an opportunity, he also wrote similar letters to Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi, who had been secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith since 1954, and Archbishop Antonio Samorè, who was secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, which was in effect the Vatican Foreign Affairs ministry.

SOURCES

French original

Joseph Cardijn – Mgr Angelo Dell’Acqua 20 06 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

Joseph Cardijn – Mgr Angelo Dell’Acqua 20 06 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Angelo Cardinal Dell’Acqua (Catholic Hierarchy)

Antonio Cardinal Samorè (Catholic Hierarchy)

Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi (Catholic Hierarchy)

Mater et Magistra adopts the see-judge-act

On 15 May 1961, Pope John XXIII published his encyclical Mater et Magistra commemorating the 70th anniversary of Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum.

Belgian priest, Fr Basil Maes, the future national director of the Belgian Catholic development agency, Broederlijk Delen, and chaplain to Caritas Catholica Belgica, later recalled Cardijn’s joy on hearing of its publication.

“I still see him joyfully entering my room, enthusiastically shouting: ‘Basil, it’s happened! See, judge, act!’.”

Indeed, §236-237 of the new encyclical had explicitly endorsed the jocist see-judge-act method:

236. There are three stages which should normally be followed in the reduction of social principles into practice. First, one reviews the concrete situation; secondly, one forms a judgment on it in the light of these same principles; thirdly, one decides what in the circumstances can and should be done to implement these principles. These are the three stages that are usually expressed in the three terms: look, judge, act.

237. It is important for our young people to grasp this method and to practice it. Knowledge acquired in this way does not remain merely abstract, but is seen as something that must be translated into action.

As we have seen, this was the culmination of much effort and advocacy, beginning with his proposal to Pope John XXIII, his and Marguerite Fiévez’s advocacy with others including Mgr Pietro Pavan and no doubt many others.

Less explicitly, the encyclical also adopted much of Cardijn’s positive theology of work, not as a punishment or merely a means of earning a livelihood but as a sharing in God’s work of creation.

REFERENCES

A new encyclical to update Rerum Novarum (Cardijn @ Vatican II)

French original

Joseph Cardijn, L’Eglise face au monde du travail (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

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

French original

Joseph Cardijn, Les prêtres et la doctrine sociale de l’Eglise (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

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

The Church and the world of work (Cardijn @ Vatican II)

Fiévez writes to Pavan about Cardijn’s suggested encyclical (Cardijn @ Vatican II)

French original

Marguerite Fiévez à Pietro Pavan 1960 12 23 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

Marguerite Fiévéz to Pietro Pavan 1960 12 23 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

A visit to Archbishop Dell’Acqua (Cardijn @ Vatican II)

Original French

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

English translation

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

Stefan Gigacz, Cardijn’s proposal to John XXIII (Cardijn Research)

Stefan Gigacz, Cardijn, work and the worker (Cardijn Research)

Stefan Gigacz, Mater et Magistra endorses the See Judge Act (Cardijn Research)

Stefan Gigacz, Cardijn and the theology of work in Mater et Magistra (Cardijn Research)

Stefan Gigacz, See Judge Act at Vatican II (Cardijn Research)

Stefan Gigacz, John XXIII’s New Pentecost (The Leaven in the Council)

Stefan Gigacz, The Three Truths in Gaudium et Spes (The Leaven in the Council)

St Joseph patron of Vatican II

Le Voci

On 19 March 1961, the Feast of St Joseph, Pope John XXIII, whose baptismal name was Giuseppe (Joseph) Angelo Roncalli, proclaimed him as the patron saint of the Second Vatican Council, as Cardijn himself noted (image above).

“Besides a few glimpses of his recurring figure here and there in the writings of the Fathers, he has remains for centuries and centuries in his characteristic hiding, almost as a figure of ornament in the picture of the life of the Savior,” Pope John wrote.

“And it took some time before his cult penetrated from the eyes into the hearts of the faithful, and drew from it special elevations of prayer and trusting abandonment.

“These were the fervent joys reserved for the effusions of the modern age: oh! how copious and impressive; and of these we are particularly pleased to immediately grasp a very characteristic and significant relief,” he added.

It was only with the advent of the modern popes, from Pope Pius IX till Pius XII, who raised his profile in the Church and among the faithful.

Pope Pius XII, in fact, had proclaimed St Joseph as patron saint of workers, John noted.

In a similar spirit, he now proclaimed his patron of the Second Vatican Council.

“The Council is made for all the Christian people who are interested in it for that more perfect circulation of grace, of Christian vitality, which makes the purchase of the truly precious goods of the present life easier and quicker, and ensures the riches of eternal centuries,” Pope John explaining why he had chosen Joseph, a lay man, as patron of the Council.

SOURCES

Pope John XIII, Apostolic Letter Le Voci, 19 March 1961 (Vatican.va)

PHOTO

Stained glass window from the Catholic chapel of Dartmouth College.

Lawrence OP / Flickr / CC BY NC ND 2.0

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 newest mark of the Council

In an autograph note dated 1 June 1960, Pope John XXIII stated that the proposed Pontifical Commission on Lay Apostolate was the “newest mark” of the Council and would be “entrusted with the study of “the apostolate of the laity, religious and social Catholic action.”

SOURCE

Alberigo, History of Vatican II, Vol. I, p. 196.

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

—————

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)

Preparing a visit to Rome

As usual, Cardijn’s preparation for his planned trip to Rome in late February 1960 was minutious.

Even the list of people he planned to visit is impressive.

Archbishop Angelo Dell’Acqua, the Substitute at the Vatican, with whom Cardijn has been in regular contact since his appointment in 1954 to replace Mgr Montini, who had been promoted to archbishop of Milan.

Cardinal Fernando Cento had previously been nuncio to Belgium from 1946 to 1953.

A tough-minded conservative who had been Substitute for Pope Pius XI from 1929-35, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani had only recently been appointed as Secretary to the Vatican Holy Office. The son of a working-class baker, Ottaviani, was sympathetic to Cardijn and the JOC.

Now the Secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi was previously the nuncio to Rwanda the Belgian colony that hosted one of the strongest JOC movements in Africa.

Lebanese-born Cardinal François Agagianian was the Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.

Soon to be appointed as a cardinal, Archbishop Pietro Marella became nuncio to France succeeding the then-Archbishop Roncalli in 1953 and would serve in that role until the end of 1959.

Archbishop Antonio Samorè was the secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, the foreign affairs branch of the Vatican Secretariat of State.

Cardijn knew and had working relationships if not friendships with them all.

In addition to these Vatican personalities, Cardijn planned to see Fr Jean-Baptiste Janssens, the Belgian-born superior general of the Jesuits, along with the heads of other missionary orders whose priests worked closely with the JOC, including the Oblates, White Fathers and Holy Cross Fathers.

He planned to visit Archbishop Maximilien de Fürstenberg, the rector of the Belgian College in Rome. Interestingly, he also planned to visit the Opus Dei priest, Fr (now Blessed) Alvaro del Portillo, who was on the “Commission laïcs pour le Concile” (Laity Commission for the Council).

In addition, he also foreshadowed a visit to Mgr Achille Glorieux, the French-born former JOC chaplain from Lille, who was secretary to the Permanent Committee for the Apostolate of the Laity.

Most of the topics Cardijn listed for his discussions revolved around the work of the YCW on the various continents and regions.

Particularly interesting and significant, however, is Cardijn’s note of issues to raise with Archbishop Dell’Acqua:

“Peut-on suggérer une Encycllque ?

a/ à l’occasion du 70ème anniversaire de Rerum Novarum, sur ‘L’Eglise face au monde du travail’

b/ pour dissiper le désarroi et la confusion sur « L’ Apostolat des laïcs ».”

“Could we suggest an Encyclical,” Cardijn asks,

“a/ on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Rerum Novarum on “The Church and the world of work”

“b/ to dissipate the disarray and confusion over ‘The Lay Apostolate’.”

“The Church and the World of Work” and “The Lay Apostolate”: two themes at the heart of Cardijn’s mission.

Clearly, he was also highly concerned about the “disarray” and “confusion” over the latter.

Although he makes no specific mention of the Council, surely it was not absent from Cardijn’s thoughts.

SOURCE

Voyage à Rome de Mgr Cardijn et Romeo Maione (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Trip to Rome of Mgr Cardijn and Romeo Maione (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)