On 7 July 1961, Cardijn made an intervention at the PCLA meeting on the plight of domestic workers.
A report based on statistical studies Italian and foreign women was then drawn up by Ferdinando Prosperini who highlighted the moral dangers of domestic work for young girls, including the high number of single mothers in their midst and the corresponding risk of falling into the hands of pimps.
Critical of the evolution of morals, Prosperini viewed the young girl not only a victim, but also a potential “seductress” of the honest father of a Catholic family.
The resulting very conservative text was revised by Santo Quadri, assisted by Fr Erminio Crippa, Dehonian, his closest collaborator at ACLI (Associazoni Cristiani Lavoratori Italiani) and an expert on female domestic work. The emphasis was no longer placed primarily on the moral dangers inherent in their professional activity, but on the need for it to be carried out in accordance with the principles of social justice – fair salary compensation, social contributions, access to training etc. – and on the particular responsibility that Christian families have in this regard.
Agnès Desmazières, Généalogie d’un « silence » conciliaire, Archives de sciences sociales des religions
Généalogie d’un « silence » conciliaire
Archives de sciences sociales des religions
National Museum of American History (Smithsonian)