On 22 May, Delarge sent to Marguerite Fiévez a list of persons and organisations to whom a complimentary copy of the book would be sent as well as a list of publications to which copies would be sent for review purposes.
Having just returned from Germany, Cardijn wrote to Delarge on 3 April, confirming that he will make himself available for a recorded interview in Paris.
He also notes that the book text is not yet finalised while negotiations over its content continue with “Malines,” i.e. with Cardinal Suenens and the archdiocesan censors.
Brussels, 3 April 1963
Monsieur J.P. Delarge,
Directeur des Editions Universitaires,
72, boulevard Saint-Germain,
On my return from Germany, I found your two letters of 27 March, for which I thank you very much.
I think I can confirm the commitment I made for the TV broadcast on the 23rd. And I’m delighted to be able to give you an affirmative answer, in principle, regarding the recording of a record. On both counts, I would like..:
1 – that you wait a little more (perhaps a week or so) to specify definitively the content of the texts to be prepared, given that slight modifications may have to be made to the text of the book, following suggestions from Mechelen, which I am currently negotiating;
2 – that the people responsible for both the broadcast and the recording on disk provide me now with the minimum indications I need for initial preparation; I would then only have to make more detailed adjustments.
Mademoiselle Fiévez has received some of the proofs from the printing works and passed them on to me. She’ll let you know herself what initial reactions we’ve had to them. If necessary, she could go to Paris to reach a more precise agreement with you.
Along with his letter to Cardinal Suenens, Cardijn enclosed a note explaining his position.
PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK
Les laïcs en première ligne!
1. This text is first and foremost the story of a journey. It includes a large number of articles published several years ago – sometimes twenty-five years ago – and censored at the time. Most of them have been translated and published in various languages, and are already well known in many countries.
2. I submitted the text of the forthcoming book to archbishops and bishops, and a number of theologians and friends, when I personally handed over a copy to Your Eminence in Rome last November. They all urged me to publish it.
3. I am bound by a contract signed on 12 February with Editions Universitaires, Paris, which includes stipulations concerning ownership of the text and the financial consequences of its publication and translation.
4. Since signing the contract, Mr Delarge, manager of the publishing house, has insisted on interviewing me on French television and on producing a record about the book.
5. Won’t major changes have an impact on these commitments? Above all, won’t they provoke regrettable comments that will do more harm than good, and out of all proportion to the nuances of the proposed corrections?
6. The publisher’s requests regarding the publication date and the TV interview are becoming very pressing, making the need for clarification all the more urgent.
On 13 February 1963, Marguerite Fiévez wrote to Jean-Pierre Delarge expressing her concern that they had been over-optimistic regarding the grant of imprimatur by the Archdiocese of Malines- Brussels for Cardijn’s book.
Rue Royale Ste Marie, Brussels 3
Brussels, 13 February, 1963
Mr J.P. Delarge, Director of Editions Eniversi- taires, 72, boulevard St Germain, PARIS, Ve France
Dear Mr. Delarge,
I think I’ve been too optimistic about getting the Imprimatur.
Monseigneur Cardijn thinks that it’s better, if it’s not too much trouble for you, to apply for the Imprimatur from the Archbishopric of Paris, and not to deviate from the usual rules, which require the application to be made in the diocese where the work is published.
He therefore relies on your good will, but is convinced that there will be no difficulty.
On 14 January 1963, Marguerite Fiévez wrote to Jean-Pierre Delarge informing him that Cardijn’s collaborators had met in Brussels and wished to modify the proposed publishing contract on several points.
As a result, they drafted a new proposed contract, which Fiévez forwarded to Delarge.
On 4 January 1963, Jean-Pierre Delarge sent to Marguerite Fiévez a draft contract for the publication of Cardijn’s book under the title of “L’apostolat des laïcs à la dimension du monde” or “The lay apostolate on a global scale.”
On 13 November 1962, Marguerite Fiévez wrote to Delarge informing him that his name was already on the list of invitees for the celebration of Cardijn’s 80th birthday.
She also responded to his gentle reminder that he needed an answer as to whether Cardijn wished to go publish his book with Editions Universitaires, noting that Cardijn was in Switzerland and Rome until the end of the month.
13 November, 1962
Dear Mr Delarge,
You will be pleased to know that your name was already on the invitation list when your letter of the 6th reached me. No doubt you are now in possession of the little card.
I understand your “reminder” gesture. This time, you’ve given us a bit of time to think and get organized! I can’t give you any further details yet, as the Monsignor is in Switzerland and Rome until the last days of this month. But it’s not impossible that I’ll be in touch with you at that time to discuss new pro-positions. Which is not to say that everything will be very simple, but in any case, business has been taking shape recently.
I look forward to seeing you on December 2 and, I’m sure, Monsignor Cardijn too.
On 22 March 1962, Fiévez responded to Delarge, explaining that Cardijn was extremely busy travelling constantly to Rome for the preparation of the Council and that it would be more practical to discuss the planned book with his collaborators.
On 1 March 1962, Jean-Pierre Delarge, manager of Editions Universitaires, wrote to Marguerite Fiévez, regretting that he had been unable to contact her and meet Cardijn during his recent visit to Brussels.
He signalled that he would be in Brussels on 27 March, asking if it would be possible to meet Cardijn in order to discuss his proposed book.
On 31 December 1961, French industrialist, Jean Lannoye, known as the “patron social” – the “social boss” – wrote to Cardijn informing him that his son-in-law, Jean-Pierre Delarge, of Editions Universitaires, would be very happy to publish Cardijn’s proposed book, which he predicted would be very influential.
On 17 May 1960, Jean-Pierre Delarge of Editions Universitaires wrote to Marguerite Fiévez asking where Cardijn’s book project is up to and noting that he would be interested to publish it “sans tarder” or as soon as possible.