On 23 December 1960, Marguerite Fiévez, clearly acting on Cardijn’s instructions, wrote to Mgr Pietro Pavan, a professor of Catholic social doctrine at the Pontifical Lateran University, enclosing two documents drafted by Cardijn.
“This is a great opportunity to reconnect with you albeit by a completely different path!” wrote Fiévez, who was clearly familiar and on good terms with him, no doubt through her involvement with the COPECIAL, i.e. the Permanent Committee for Congresses of the Apostolate of the Laity..
“Before his departure for Africa a few days ago, Monsignor Cardijn asked me to send you the attached note, on ‘Priests and the social doctrine of the Church.’ Following the line of the Pontifical Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity in preparation for the coming Council, Monsignor Cardijn is concerned with many fundamental issues that you find expressed in the various notes he drafted for the Commission in question. If he had your views on it, I think he would then be in a position to judge whether after a few modifications he would be able to present the note to the Commission at one of the coming sessions.
“If you would like extra copies, I would be happy to send them to you. You will see that the note was written in particular circumstances (on the occasion of his last trip to Latin America) but we could correct a few passages to make it more generally applicable.
“Monsignor Cardijn also asked me to attach a document that he prepared for HH. John XXIII a few months ago proposing an Encyclical for the 70th anniversary of Rerum Novarum. He would like to have your views on this document,” Fiévez adds.
Reading between the lines, it is clear that Fiévez – and of course Cardijn – know full well that Mgr Pavan is already working on John XXIII’s draft encyclical, even though this is not public information.
“I hope I will see you again in February, following the meeting of the Pontifical Commission, on the occasion of the meeting of the Governing Council of the Standing Committee,” Fiévez concludes, referring to a forthcoming meeting of the COPECIAL. “I will be very happy to be able to exchange some impressions with you once again.”
Marguerite Fiévez à Pietro Pavan 1960 12 23 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Marguerite Fiévéz to Pietro Pavan 1960 12 23 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Joseph Cardijn, L’Eglise face au monde du travail (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Joseph Cardijn, The Church and the world of labour (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Joseph Cardijn, Les prêtres et la doctrine sociale de l’Eglise (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Joseph Cardijn, Priests and the social doctrine of the Church (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Pietro Pavan (Wikipedia.it)
Pietro Cardinal Pavan (Catholic Hierarchy)