First preliminary meeting of Conciliar Lay Apostolate Commission

The new Commission on the Apostolate of the Faithful, as it had been named despite the protests of its secretary, Mgr Achille Glorieux, and others held a preliminary meeting on 22 November to discuss its new mandate to draft an abbreviated ‘Decree on the Laity’ – not on ‘lay apostolate’ – in place of the Constitution originally proposed.

Still informally known as the “Lay Apostolate Commission,” its mandate was to establish ‘general principles’ under three main headings:

a) the apostolate of the laity in the service (actio) of the reign of Christ;

b) the apostolate of the laity in charitable and social works;

c) societies of the faithful, based on a schema for a ‘Decree on the Societies of the Faithful’ which had been prepared by the Preparatory Commission for the Discipline of the Clergy and Faithful.

These instructions clearly maintained the structure of the original schema that had frustrated Cardijn.

Worse, writes Stefan Gigacz, the change in name of the Commission from ‘Apostolate of the Laity’ to ‘Apostolate of the Faithful’ amounted to an unambiguous rejection of the line he had championed, although it continued to be known (in protest) as the Lay Apostolate Commission.

SOURCE

Stefan Gigacz, The Leaven in the Council, Chapter 7, The Council opens without Cardijn (Australian Cardijn Institute)