Cardijn sends Note 1 to Cardinal Cento

Cardijn to Cento 31 10 1960

On 31 October 1960, Cardijn sent his Note 1 to the president of the Preparatory Commission on Lay Apostolate, Cardinal Fernando Cento.

“I am honoured to send Your Eminence a note which was inspired by the program proposed for study by the Pontifical Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity,” Cardijn wrote.

“Your Eminence will judge whether it is advisable to communicate this note to the members of the Commission.

“I have no need to repeat to Your Eminence how happy I am to be able to participate under His presidency in the study of this problem to which I have devoted the whole of my priestly life,” he concluded.

SOURCE

French original

Cardijn à Cardinal Cento (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

Cardijn to Cardinal Cento (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Note 1 – The lay apostolate

Note 1 - L'apostolat des laïcs

With the first plenary meeting of the Preparatory Commission on Lay Apostolate just over two weeks away, Cardijn has finalised an 18-page typed and roneoed note entitled “L’apostolat des laïcs” (The Apostolate of Lay People).

While there is no indication of the number of copies printed, no doubt he prepared enough for distribution to the members and consultants of the PCLA as well as for his other contacts in Rome and elsewhere.

Cardijn opens by summarising the document, which is organised into five chapters that follow the form of his see-judge-act method.

See: Chapter I (naturally!) thus opens with an overview of “the essential problems of lay life,” ranging from personal, physical, family, community and social level to cultural, professional, civic and political at national and international levels.

As illustrations of the issues, Cardijn highlights population growth, rapid technological change, the break down of traditional lifestyles as well as the growing power of government, non-government and international institutions.

Judge: He divides Chapter II into three parts, setting out his own vision of the required response by the Church:

a) The apostolic and missionary dimensions of these problems and their solution;

b) the indispensable formation required to solve them;

c) the role of the Church in providing that formation and working towards solutions.

Act: Cardijn final three chapters set out Cardijn’s conception of the action required by the Church:

a) Catholic Action (Chapter III), which Cardijn characterises as both a “participation” in the formational aspect of the Hierarchy’s role “forming the faithful to share the apostolic mission of the Church in their own life and in the lay world” but also involving “the responsibility of lay people both in the direction and in the action and organisation of the apostolic movements that have received a mandate” from the Church.

b) Pious, charitable and social organisations in the Church (Chapter IV), which Cardijn views as working alongside and complementing the work of the Catholic Action movements with their focus on formation.

c) Formation of priests and religious men and women (Chapter V) to take on the task of “the formation of lay people for the apostolate.”

Finally, Cardijn adds two annexes that call for

a) the creation of a sub-commission and working groups comprising lay people and

b) proposing a post-conciliar “Roman Congregation or Dicastery for the Apostolate of Lay People,” which would continue and develop the work begun by the conciliar commission.

It was a masterful document that synthesised the essence of the Jocist-inspired “Specialised Catholic Action” model that Cardijn had developed over the previous forty years. Without a single mention of the “Italian” model of clerically-controlled, politically-oriented and Church-defending Catholic Action, Cardijn offered a completely different vision of Catholic Action led by lay people, focused on formation and reaching out to the world.

Such was the vision that would guide and inform all his work – and that of his jocist colleagues – over the course of work of the Preparatory Commission.

SOURCE

Joseph Cardijn, Note 1, L’apostolat des laïcs (Archives Cardijn 1576) (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

Joseph Cardijn, Note 1, The apostolate of lay people (Archives Cardijn 1576) (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Seven lay people, all Italians

Lay people

With the various preparatory commissions beginning their work, the Vatican announced the appointment of seven lay men, all Italians, as “members of the administrative secretariat” for the Council. They were to carry out “important roles in the Vatican offices,” the announcement added.

This administrative secretariat was to be managed by “Count Galeazzi.” This appears to have been Enrico Galeazzi (photo above), an architect and engineer who had been responsible for Vatican restoration works, who had also been close to Pope Pius XII. He was also the director of the Knights of Columbus in Rome.

The other laymen were Messrs Menini, Musa, Quadrani, Seganti, Spadani and Vacchini.

SOURCE

Unidentified press cutting (Archives JOCI)

New Light on Pius XII Cause? (National Catholic Register)

Count Galeazzi with Pius XII
Count Galeazzi with Pius XII

PHOTO

Pope Pius XII talks with Count Enrico Galeazzi, the director of the Knights of Columbus in Rome, in this undated photo in an exhibit at the Capitoline Museum in Rome on the activities of the Knights of Columbus in the eternal city. (photo: CNS photo/courtesy of Knights of Columbus)

Starting from the problems of life and workers

JOCI Meeting Report

Cardijn introduced the discussion at the special meeting of several members of the JOCI Executive Committee on 28 October 1960.

Unsurprisingly, he began by insisting on the “necessity of the worker apostolate” and recalling Pius XI’s statement that the first apostles of workers needed to be “the workers themselves.”

Workers thus needed to act themselves to solve “the problem of the worker world,” he said.

Begin with our experience as clergy and laity

JOCI vice-president, Maria Meersman, added that it was necessary to “begin with our experience” as “clergy and laity.”

Evidently referring to certain documents, JOCI secretary-general René Salanne noted that “we find ourselves before an amalgam of definitions.” The JOC, however, “began from problems,” he added. And there was a problem of “young people caught up in industrial evolution” who needed to be able to “accomplish their complete destiny,” he explained.

French priest, Jean Noddings, who had many years of experience working with the JOC in West Africa, warned that young workers could not be reached through “general pastoral approach.” By the nature of their environment they were unable to be reached this way, he continued.

Another priest, Fr Martin, also probably a French priest working in North Africa, noted that industrialisation was also destroying the religious sense of young Muslims.

Canadian Holy Cross Father, Oscar Mélanson, who also had many years of experience with the JOC in Brazil, agreed, noting that young worker militants remained at the “margins of the Church.”

Church continued to make same mistakes

Also Canadian, JOCI president, Romeo Maione, warned that the Church in many countries was making the same mistakes that it had made during the industrial revolution in Europe. The Church’s mode of evangelisation was designed for a “static world” or a “village church” rather than in view of the “new civilisation” that was emerging.

Summarising, Cardijn noted that many countries were still at the beginning of the industrialisation process and young workers, even those who had been baptised, were not being reached by the Church, let alone those of other religions.

Young people were not being formed to recognise the “value of their work” or “their personal dignity” or to address their problems, he noted.

René Salanne added that these were not just problems of young workers but “life problems.” Hence, the need to give meaning to life as “the Creator desired.”

Romeo Maione noted that the Church and others continued to start from “ideas” and thus “intellectualised Christ’s message.”

Life learning needed not “catechetics”

People needed “to learn from life,” he stated, warning that the masses did not learn “from courses.”

Fr Noddings agreed, noting a growing popularisation of “catechetics” rather than beginning with life.

Citing Spanish JOC chaplain, Don Mauro Rubio Repulles, Maione added that people, including priests, needed to “learn to see.”

“The priest who enters the seminary at age eighteen has not observed life before entering,” Maione warned, “And afterwards he is outside of life.”

Meersman added that it was necessary to “make the act of faith beginning with the action of the Holy Spirit in the life of people and events.”

Assistant international chaplain, Marcel Uylenbroeck, noted the need to “list the various problems,” including starting work at an early age, which was a cause of “dehumanisation” and hence also “dechristianisation.” He also noted the need to deal with communism on a “positive” basis.

Anguish for workers

Fr Mélanson added that it was necessary for the Council to develop “an anguish about the workers” and to develop a “humanism” that would save the masses.

Betty Villa from the Philippines noted that a critique of the YCW in Hong Kong was that it did not “help the parish,” e.g. with catechetics. In other words, the work of the YCW was not understood. She added that there was no link between the Gospel preached on Sundays and daily life. Hence, young workers did not know how to act.

Fr Noddings added that if priests really understood Catholic Action (in the JOC sense), they would do catechetics quite differently.

Maione added that the Council needed to make an option in favour of a “specialised” apostolate, a specialisation based on “realities” rather than “class.”

Fr Mélanson pointed to the problems of developing countries and the associated “frightening” issue of “urbanisation.”

Cardijn added that work had been “robbed of its meaning” and the need to give it a new community-based meaning. He noted that young people had a strong “democratic” sense to the point of being ready to die.

René Salanne noted that Quadragesimo Anno was outdated and suggested that perhaps a new encyclical was needed every five years.

Cardijn suggested that the Council needed to create a new Secretariat for engaging with non-Christians and perhaps for a new Congregation to study the problems of lay people in the Church.

SOURCE

Compte rendu de la réunion de quelques membres de la Comité Exécutif (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

A special meeting to prepare for the Council

Tourneppe

On 28 October 1960, the JOC Internationale organised a special meeting to prepare for the Council. It was held at the JOC training centre (above) in Tourneppe, Belgium.

Invited to the meeting were members of the JOCI Executive Committee, the International Bureau, i.e. the elected staff of the International Secretariat. Also invited was Marguerite Fiévez, former international leader, member of the Permanent Committee for International Congresses on Lay Apostolate (COPECIAL), who was now working for Cardijn as his personal secretary.

Two issues: Young workers and lay apostolate

Although the proposal for the meeting is not signed by Cardijn, it certainly bears the imprint of his thought:

“The problem to be studied could be posed as follows: if we send a preparatory note to the Fathers of the Council and to the various preparatory commissions, it seems that the suggestions that we could make would revolve around two problems that characterise our competence and our originality:

a} the mass of young workers to be saved

b) the role of the laity in the Church as we understand it.”

In other words, it is necessary to approach the issue beginning with the life of young workers and to evaluate the role of lay people in response:

“Given these conditions, should we not first simply think about these two questions:

– what do we have to contribute, to emphasise and to suggest with respect to the problem of young workers?

– and with respect to the apostolate of the laity?”

Specific issues

The document goes on to specify these concerns in greater details. It says:

“These two questions can be approached via a series of problems:

– seminary formation

– liturgy, preaching, catechism

– our attitude, the attitude to be adopted towards non-Christians

– attitude to be adopted with respect to “technical civilisation”

– attitude with respect to communism

– how to shed light on some major problems of educating young people

– the sexuality problem

– the problem of juvenile delinquency

– the problem of preparation for family life

– what are the obstacles that we encounter in our apostolate?

– how should we conceive of the collaboration between priests – laity and laity – hierarchy?”

SOURCE

JOC Internationale, Préparation du Concile Oecuménique (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

International YCW, Preparation for the Ecumenical Council (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

A first draft of a note for the Prep Com

Now that he has been appointed to the Prep Com on Lay Apostolate, as usual, Cardijn prepares meticulously, drafting an extraordinarily wide-ranging and detailed note of the way in which he would like the commission to work.

In his note, he begins by outlining the issue:

“The problem of the apostolate of lay people and of the formation of lay people for their apostolate can be exposed and solved starting from different points of departure, but which all lead to the same conclusions:

1. The Church, its mission, lay people in the Church.

2. God, the plan of God, in the Incarnation and the Redemption, participation of lay people in this plan of God.

3. The Christian’s mission in the world.

4. Man, his life, his problems, his worth and the mission of each person.”

He then drafts an extensive enquiry questionnaire for himself, which he also divides into several sections

First, he tackles “Secular and human problems” which he subdivides further into several categories:

  1. Ontological and personal, beginning with “Who am I? Why do I exist? How do I relate to others?”
  2. Family and emotional issues, beginning with “Who are my family? Who are my siblings? What about marriage?” etc.
  3. Free time: “How do I spend it? With whom? etc.
  4. Teaching and education: “How many years at school? What have I learned? Why did I leave school?
  5. Work: “What is my profession? Who do I work with? How long? Am I in a union?”
  6. Society, organisations and social institutions: “Do I exist alone? With whom? Should I be interested in various organisations?” etc.
  7. Human differences: “What are the differences between peoples?”

Cardijn then moves on to “Religious issues” beginning with the question of a person’s relationship with God, the meaning of the Incarnation of God, the existence of other religions, relationships with other Christians and non-believers, whether priests and pastors receive the kind of doctrinal and pastoral formation they need, etc.

Clearly conscious of the fact that his questions are likely to be fairly distant from the concerns of the PCLA, he explains their significance:

“In themselves for the understanding of their personal life in all its aspects: personal, family, professional, social, cultural, political, national and international;

for the understanding and realisation of their own mission in their own life in its aspects;

for the mutual promotion of this life in their immediate environment and in the world and for the union, understanding, progress, peace of all humanity;

for the eternal destiny of each and everyone;

for the glory of God and the realisation of his plan in the work of Creation and Redemption;

for collaboration in the work of the Church, in the ecumenical mission of the Church in the world of today and tomorrow.”

In a short Part II entitled “The apostolic formation of lay people” he explains that:

“1. The faithful in the Church must be formed

a) to discover these problems of their own life and that of all men

b) to discover the apostolic value of these problems

c) to learning and exercising their apostolic mission in their life, i.e. of the apostolic transformation of their own life in view of their apostolic mission immediate.

2. This apostolic formation begins at birth in the family, intensifies in school, becomes more precise and adapts to the moment of choosing and learning about their state of life.

3. This apostolic formation, doctrinal and practical, is not individualistic, but takes place in an adapted apostolic movement, where young lay people unite on the spot and on the scale of the current world, to collaborate in the action and representation of the apostolic conception of life and of the world at all stages and in all aspects of their life.

–    lives, living environment, daily, concrete and practical problems;

– private and public authorities at all levels
– national and international private and public organisations and institutions, confessional and interfaith, interracial.”

Finally, in a short Part C dealing with the work of the PCLA, he again makes an important list of points to be dealt with:

Its composition

Its purpose

Its method of work:

1) definition of the lay apostolate

2) organisation of the lay apostolate

3) formation of lay people in the apostolate

4) training of priests, men and women religious for their mission in the formation of the laity for the apostolate

5) extension and deepening of the lay apostolate

in the world of work

in intellectual circles and leaders

in education

in the different continents, races,

in national and international institutions, governmental and non-governmental

with non-Catholics and non-Christians

with organisations, movements, institutions,

achievements of non-Catholics and non-Christians.

6) Should there be sub-committees or working groups with lay people for resolutions, and fruitful practical conclusions?”

It is an extraordinary document with obvious roots in the Cardijn method of beginning from the everyday life of the people rather than from the Church’s doctrine.

SOURCE

Original French:

Joseph Cardijn, Note 1: Première ébauche d’un avant projet (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation:

Joseph Cardijn, Outline for Note 1 on the Lay Apostolate (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

A misunderstanding already?

René Salanne to Paul Adam

Mgr Glorieux’s reply to Cardijn on 3 October was clearly not the one that was expected.

On 15 October 1960, International YCW secretary-general, René Salanne, wrote to Paul Adam in Switzerland addressing this point.

“I am enclosing a copy of the letter that Mgr Cardijn sent to Mgr Glorieux on the issue of a ‘sub-commision’ of lay people as well as a copy of the response from Mgr Glorieux.

“However, it seems to me that there was a misunderstanding. Didn’t Mgr Glorieux understand that Mgr Cardijn was proposing the creation of a sub-commission by the organisations.

“When he responds ‘if while they are going to start only in Rome, they learn that “sub-commissions” are being created left and right’, then he seems to have such an interpretation of Mgr Cardijn’s project in his head.

“Mgr Cardijn will now write to him to say that he actually envisaged the creation of a sub-commission by the pontifical Commission itself, which could in fact call on other organisations,” he wrote. However, at this stage, I have found no record in either the IYCW or the Cardijn Archives of any response by him to Mgr Glorieux.

“The first meeting of the Commission will take place in Rome on 14 November,” René Salanne noted. It promised to be an interesting meeting!

SOURCE

René Salanne to Paul Adam 1960 10 15 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

A change of date?

Cardijn to Glorieux 07 10 1960

On 7 October 1960, Cardijn wrote to Mgr Glorieux to ask if it would be possible to delay the first plenary meeting of the Preparatory Commission on Lay Apostolate for a few days.

He wrote:

“You indicated that there may be a meeting of the Pontifical Commission around 15 November. We have our International Executive Committee in Amsterdam from November 1 to 15, and I have accepted to speak in Luxembourg on 17 November.

“As I would like to attend the first meeting of the Commission in Rome, is there no way to fix a date beginning on the 18 or the 19?

“I would really appreciate it if this is still possible. If the date is already fixed I will cancel some of the engagements that I have already made here in order to be with you in Rome.”

SOURCE

French original

Cardijn à Glorieux 1960 10 07 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

Cardijn to Glorieux 1960 10 07 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Belgian Christian Worker movements send questionnaire to members

LOFC-MOC

On 7 October 1960, Emilie Arnould, a former JOCF leader, wrote to members of the Ligues des Ouvrières Féminines Chrétiennes (Christian Women Workers League) and of the Mouvement des Ouvriers Chrétiens (Christian Workers Movement) to invite them to respond to a questionnaire in preparation for Vatican II.

“The JOC Internationale and the FIMOC (Fédération Internationale des Ouvriers Chrétiens) are interested in this preparation,” she wrote.

The questions were:

1. – Quels sont les principaux obstacles à la pratique de la Foi dans le monde ouvrier ?

2. – Que souhaiteriez-vous voir s’améliorer dans la collaboration “prêtres-laics” pour ce qui concerne l’apostolat des militants ouvriers dans le monde des adultes ?

3. – Quels sont, en général, les autres voeux que vous voudriez exprimer pour le monde des travailleurs, compte tenu des différentes Commissions du Concile :

– liturgie,

– sacrements,

– enseignement de la religion ( enfants

( adultes

– accueil des convertis dans les paroisses,

– formation dans les séminaires, etc…etc…

4. – Autres réflexions.

English translation

“1. What are the principal obstacles to the practice of the faith?

2. What would you like to se improved in the collaboration between “priests and lay people” with respect to the apostolate of worker militants in the adult world?

3. In general, what are the other wishes that you would like to express regarding the world of workers, taking into consideration the various Conciliar Commissions:

  • Liturgy
  • Sacraments
  • Teaching of religion (children, adults)
  • Welcoming converts in parishes
  • Seminary formation, etc.

4. Any other reflections.

SOURCE

Archives Himmer (Diocèse de Tournai)

An invitation from Cardinal Cento

Cento to PCLA

On 4 October 1960, Preparatory Commission President, Cardinal Fernando Cento, wrote Cardijn and other commission members informing them of their first meeting including a special audience with Pope John XXIII on Sunday 14 November.

He also invited them to take the oath of secrecy before the Apostolic Delegate or Nuncio.

A second letter also invited him to send his “observations and suggestions, not necessarily in Latin.”

Subjects

Also enclosed were other documents listing the subjects to be dealt with along with the other members of the Commission and the Sub-Commissions to which they had been allocated.

This was evidently sent out in Latin but Cardijn had had it translated into French.

Issues for the PCLA

Members of the Sub-Commissions

Cardijn thus found himself appointed to Sub-Commission I, which was to deal with Notions relating to Catholic Associations and Catholic Action.

SOURCES

Original Latin plus rough English translation

Cardinal Cento to PCLA Members 1960 10 04 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Cardinal Cento to Cardijn 1960 10 04 – 02 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Other Documents

Archives Cardijn 1584

Patience!

In a letter dated 3 October 1960, Mgr Glorieux was quick to respond to Cardijn, counselling caution and patience.

“I only received your letter of the 27 September this morning,” he wrote, “and I wanted to reply without delay but not without having read and reread it with close attention.

“Your letter contains two points on the same issue (collaboration in the preparation of the Council) that I will distinguish for the moment, namely the contribution of the various movements of the apostolate in the worker milieu and the eventual creation of a sub-commission of lay people.

“Regarding the first point, I will say without hesitation (but subject to one reserve indicated below that you will understand) that every organisation is perfectly authorised to submit any documents and contributions that it desires to the Commission. Some have already done so.

“But I would be much more reserved on the second point because as of the date at which you wrote to me, no preparatory Commission has yet begun its work in Rome… That may surprise you; but it is necessary to take into account the level of international organisation that is involved and also recall that during the First Vatican Council the preliminaries – before the preparatory Commissions – last several years.

“I therefore say, if then we are only going to start in Rome and people that there are “sub-commissions” being created left and right, the effect will be deplorable. Could you and the other movements you mention wait a little; and above do mention this project. In time, it will certainly be of interest and we will look then at how to achieve it in a genuinely effective manner.

“Have no doubt, dear Monsignor, that I am the first to desire that lay people make themselves heard; they alone understand certain aspects of the problems and have the experience of their life milieux. However, we must not skip over the steps…

“And it is here that I come back to the reserve that I mentioned earlier (but not to block any initiative by the movements; from my point of view, there is no contra-indication, simply a question of whether it is opportune); is it opportune from a perspective of a common contribution made possible in a certain period of time by an initiative such as that which you envisage, that each movement or organisation actually makes its own representations to the Commission? It is up to you to decide…

“So you see that your question is not all indiscreet and I have done my best to answer; and it is clear that this response is also addressed to all those who have discussed this project with you,” Glorieux concludes, adding that he will be happy to discuss further in mid-November when Cardijn was to come to Rome for the first meeting of the Commission.

SOURCE

Achille Glorieux à Cardijn 1960 10 03 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)