Chenu suggests a conciliar Message to the world

On 4 September 1962, French Dominican, Marie-Dominique Chenu, wrote to German theologian, Karl Rahner SJ, proposing that as its first act the Council should issue a “Message to the World.”

Similarly, to Cardijn’s own proposal in the PCLA for such a message, Chenu called for an ‘ample declaration… in the style of the Gospel’ and ‘in the prophetic perspectives of the Old and New Testaments’:

A declaration addressed to humanity where grandeur and distress are… an aspiration for the light of the Gospel and the presence of God the Creator…. A declaration proclaiming the fraternal unity of men, beyond frontiers, races, regimes, – in a refusal of violent solutions, in love of peace, testifying the Kingdom of God.

In his journal, Chenu even claimed that ‘this initiative was inspired.’ He immediately communicated it to several bishops, most of whom were Cardijn allies closely involved with the JOC and other Specialised Catholic Action movements.


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


Archives Dominicains de la Province de France / Wikipedia