With the PCLA plenary meeting now over, Cardijn maximises his trip to Rome with a visit on 6 February to Archbishop Angelo Dell’Acqua, who plays the role of Substitute at the Holy See.
As always, Cardijn is extremely well prepared with a list of topics he wishes to report on, difficulties he wants to discuss as well as a series of specific, concrete requests for aid.
So he begins by presenting a report of his recent trip to Africa for the Pan-African YCW meeting in Lomé, Togo from 18 December, I960 to 2 January, 1961. He notes the absence of delegates from Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), which implies perhaps a lack of cooperation from local Church authorities that he wishes to redress.
And he reports on his earlier trip to several African countries in mid-1960, which was interrupted by events in Rwanda.
He particularly notes the arrival of “jocist missionaries” in Africa, no doubt wishing to ensure that they are welcomed by local bishops and churches.
International Council, Rio de Janeiro
Secondly, Cardijn offers information on the forthcoming Second International Council of the YCW to be held in Rio de Janeiro in October 1961. Five continental preparatory meetings will take place in the lead up to the Council with representatives from 90 countries expected to attend, truly a phenomenal achievement.
And he requests a letter of encouragement from the Holy See addressed to himself and/or the IYCW president, Romeo Maione, in order to help in the promotion and fundraising for the event.
He also requests letters to the representatives of the Holy See in each country in an endeavour to gain their cooperation.
And finally he asks for “honorary distinctions for international leaders” who are about to end their service to the YCW.
Nor is Vatican II absent from his thoughts. Thus he emphasises the “importance of a declaration by the Council on the need for the apostolate of the laity” and its promotion and development.
Encyclical for the 70th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum
Cardijn also returns to his request to Pope John in 1960 for an encyclical to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical, Rerum Novarum, and to update its teaching. He cites the teaching of Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno in 1931:
“a / on the importance of the workers’ apostolate: “The first and immediate apostles of workers will be workers”
b / on the importance of the apostolate of young workers: ‘I can already see, to the great joy of my heart, the tight ranks of young workers going to conquer their young working brothers and sisters’.
c / great progress over recent years
d / and ardent hope that this progress will continue.”
World Council of Churches
He also draws attention to the forthcoming 3rd Ecumenical Assembly of Churches scheduled to take place in New Delhi, India, from 18 November – 6 December, 1961.
Finally, he requests a private audience with John XXIII although it’s not clear if he is hoping for this immediately or on his next trip to Rome.
It’s another Cardijn masterclass of advocacy.
Angelo Dell’Acqua (Wikipedia)
Angelo Cardinal Dell’Acqua (Catholic Hierarchy)
Aide-Mémoire Mgr Dell’Acqua 06 02 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Aide-Memoire Archbishop Angelo Dell’Acqua 06 02 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)