On 20 November 1962, two overlapping groups of bishops, many of whom were linked to Cardijn and had met him during his visit to Rome, addressed two petitions to Pope John XXIII on the twin themes of the world “ad extra” and the Church.
Stefan Gigacz writes:
Although it is not possible to definitively establish a link with Cardijn’s visit, which concluded on 20 November, it is highly suggestive that the next day, two overlapping groups of bishops, including several whom Cardijn had just met, addressed petitions to Pope John via Cardinal Cicognani dealing with the twin themes of world and Church.
At least eight of the first group, namely Himmer, Larrain, Ancel, Angerhausen, Marcos McGrath, Cooray, Helder Camara and Bernard Yago, were all closely linked to Cardijn.
Citing the pontiff’s own insistence that the problems of the world have always been in the heart of the Church and appealing for solutions based on the dignity of man and the Christian vocation, they called for the establishment of a secretariat or commission that would discuss the role of the Church ‘ad extra’ in responding to ‘the most important issues of today’s world.’
The same day the second group of eleven bishops addressed another letter to Cicognani calling for greater clarity in the organisation of the work before the Council and proposing that the next session of the Council should begin with a discussion on the Constitution on the Church. Overlapping with the signatories on the first letter, this group included Camara, McGrath,
Larrain and Cooray as well as another three Jocist bishops, Jean Zoa, Pierre Veuillot and Maurice Baudoux.
In any event, it is clear that lobbying for the Council to adopt a twin focus on Church and world was making significant progress.
Stefan Gigacz, The Leaven in the Council, Chapter 7, The Council opens without Cardijn (Australian Cardijn Institute)