A new schema
‘With respect to each question, we begin with facts (previously ‘signs of the times’); we judge them; and we derive various pastoral orientations. This method was explicitly desired by the competent bodies; it manifestly corresponds to the will of the overwhelming majority of the Fathers.’ Thus did Pierre Haubtmann, the chief redactor of the final drafts of the Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today, Gaudium et Spes, – known successively as Schema XVII and Schema XIII – explain the adoption of the see-judge-act method in the document.
Moreover, this was far from the full extent of Cardijn’s influence on the document. As this chapter will show, Gaudium et Spes began its life under the auspices of Cardinal Suenens as a traditional exposition of Church doctrine on social issues meant to be followed by a series of ‘directives’ for pastoral action.
By the time of its adoption at the Fourth Session of Vatican II, however, it had been radically transformed into a document structured in the form of Cardijn’s Proudhonian Three Truths dialectic. This also explained the choice of Haubtmann, an experienced JOC and ACO chaplain, who had just completed his monumental doctoral thesis on La philosophie sociale de Proudhon.
In reality, the Suenens plan was superseded by a plan based on Cardijn’s dialectic, which he had explicitly summarised in the foreword of Laïcs en premières lignes. This occurred despite Cardijn having no personal involvement in the drafting, after being effectively sidelined again by Suenens. Despite this – and perhaps in reaction to it – the drafting of Gaudium et Spes was dominated by the Jocist-formed bishops and periti at the Council, building on the work of their predecessors.
From a Cardijn perspective, the Church’s struggle to come to grips with the ‘modern’ world was rooted in the industrial and democratic revolutions of the preceding centuries. Here, Cardijn identified himself with the pioneering efforts of Lamennais, Ozanam, the Sillon and others, who endeavoured to ‘reconcile’ the Church with the positive values of the emerging new reality while combating its evils, and who were often marginalised as a result.
In his account of the origins of Gaudium et Spes, Louvain theologian and peritus, Charles Moeller, offered a more recent perspective. This began with the social encyclicals of Leo XIII, the liturgical movement under Pius X, the ‘missionary encyclicals’ of Benedict XV and ‘the initiatives of Pius XI in Catholic Action.’ Later factors cited by Moeller included the ‘planetisation’ of the Catholic apostolate under Pius XII, the emergence of the ecumenical and biblical movements, the ‘patristic renewal’ as well as the ‘impact of Christian humanism.’
As we have seen, Cardijn and the JOC chaplains played key roles in several of these areas. Indeed, for Moeller, ‘one major fact dominates the immediate post war world: the discovery of [the JOC chaplains] Fathers Godin and Daniel of France, country of mission,’ while another Jocist chaplain, Emile Mersch, had provided ‘the initial theological synthesis’ of these experiences. Similarly, Moeller credited Cardijn with introducing ‘not only the social, but also the scientific and technological dimension into Catholic thought.’
Jocist chaplains also featured prominently in other developments Moeller identified, including the ecumenical movement (Congar), the emergence of Christian humanism (Masure, Chenu), in patristics (Paul Dabin), medieval studies (Chenu, Palémon Glorieux) and liturgy. Finally, he pointed to the impact of John XXIII’s encyclicals, Mater et Magistra and Pacem in Terris, with their adoption of the see-judge-act and signs of the times.
Nor can we forget the role of Cardijn and the Specialised Catholic Action movements at the Lay Apostolate Congresses of the 1950s, which raised many of the issues that Gaudium et Spes would tackle at the Council.
Towards Schema XVII
Nevertheless, the ‘immediate’ inspiration on the Council floor for the document originally known simply as ‘Schema XVII’ came from Suenens’ 4 December 1962 intervention, backed by Montini and Lercaro, foreshadowing a division of the Council’s work into ad intra (church) and ad extra (world) components. Moreover, as we have seen, Cardijn had previously proposed just such a division in a Note for the PCLA while Liénart also made a similar suggestion.
Here, many of those involved at the earliest stages of the process adamantly insisted on the primordial role of the members of the Lay Apostolate Commission (LAC). Achille Glorieux, for example, underlined the roles in mid-November 1962 of Dutch Bishop Gerard De Vet who ‘emphasised the need to confront the part of the schema prepared by this Commission with several parallel schemas prepared by the Doctrinal Commission’ and German Bishop Franz Hengsbach, who had written to Cardinal Cento ‘making the same suggestion.’
Roberto Tucci also pointed to a 25 November report by Hengsbach observing the need to combine the PCLA material on social action with that prepared by the Preparatory Theological Commission. Moeller too highlighted the importance of this latter document as a fundamental source of the themes of human dignity and man as the image of God. According to Santo Quadri, this led to the idea of a schema unifying the material in ‘a treatise based on principles but taking root in modern reality.’
These testimonies reinforce the link with Cardijn’s own proposal that the Council should organise its work around the themes of Church and world. Tucci also noted the importance of the conciliar Message to the world initially drafted by Chenu and Congar, observing that, while Schema XIII, as the draft later became known, was almost the natural outcome of the Council as envisaged by John XXIII, Mater et Magistra formed a second point of origin together with Pope John’s Apostolic Constitution Humanae Salutis convoking the Council, in which the pope first proposed ‘making our own Jesus’s recommendation that we learn to discern ‘the signs of the times’ (Mt 16:4).’
Moeller also underscored the role of another Jocist chaplain, namely ‘a bishop from Latin America who in fact gave the impulse which led to the decision to produce a schema on the Church in the world,’ i.e. Helder Camara, who had been inspired by Cardijn’s 1951 Lay Apostolate Congress speech. Citing the work of François Houtart in Latin America, Moeller also identified a more general French and Latin American – particularly Brazilian – influence, in emphasising ‘the importance of the Council in a world which had changed’ since World War II.
In addition, both Moeller and Tucci highlighted the influence of the Jocist-oriented Church of the Poor group. Moreover, many of these people, including Houtart and Chenu, were involved in a 29 November 1962 meeting of thirty bishops, including Suenens, to create a Vatican ‘secretariat’ on justice and development issues.
The influence of Cardijn and the Jocist network thus clearly extended into the very conception of Schema XVII, adding to the irony of Suenens providing the catalyst for the schema.
Preparing the Rome Draft
The Mixed Commission
Hengsbach and De Vet further developed their proposal for collaboration between the conciliar Doctrinal Commission (DC) and the LAC at meetings of the latter body in December 1962 and January 1963. From this emerged Hengsbach’s proposal to draw up a joint schema based on material from the schemas of the preparatory commissions.
The new conciliar Coordination Commission (CC) adopted this proposal at its first meeting on 21-27 January 1963. To implement it, Suenens suggested the creation of a Mixed Commission drawn from the members of the DC and LAC, a proposal which was also accepted. Cardinal Cicognani, president of the CC, wrote immediately (30 January) to Ottaviani and Cento, respective presidents of the DC and the LAC, requesting them to launch the work under the banner of the new ‘Mixed Commission’ (MC). 
In turn, the CC charged Suenens with compiling reports on the three ‘social’ schemas drafted by the preparatory Theological Commission that dealt with the ‘moral order,’ the ‘social order’ and ‘the community of nations’ respectively, tasks which Suenens delegated to the French Jesuit Jean-Yves Calvez and François Houtart. Meanwhile, Italian Cardinal Giovanni Urbani proposed to utilise parts of the section of the preparatory schema on lay apostolate dealing with social issues.
However, from a Jocist point of view as well as for the eventual orientation of the new Schema XVII, the most important proposal was undoubtedly that of Liénart, who presented a report criticising the preparatory schema on the Deposit of Faith, which had focused on condemning errors.
Man in the image of God
Rejecting this approach, Liénart insisted that the schema should be a pastoral document as John XXIII had proposed, presenting a ‘positive doctrine,’ explaining the ‘meaning of life and the world.’ It should therefore focus on man, the ‘dignity of man,’ ‘child of God,’ created in ‘the image of God,’ called to participate in the divine nature. It should explain his ‘origin and destiny,’ his vocation to grow, multiply and master the earth in the light of his ultimate ‘supernatural vocation.’
Hence, it should also emphasise man’s freedom, ‘his right to freedom of thought, expression and action,’ his ‘right to work in order to earn his living, his ‘right to a liveable habitat,’ as well as his responsibility in all these fields. Moreover, the schema should also be drafted in a manner attentive to ‘the petitions of our contemporaries, as well as their anguishes, their exaltations and their despair.’
Likely drafted with the assistance of his adviser, Palémon Glorieux, it is hard to miss the echoes here of Cardijn’s own doctrine. Moreover, Glorieux already possessed the manuscript of Laïcs en premières lignes and had specifically congratulated Cardijn for recalling ‘the great truths that no-one should ignore nor lose sight of in pastoral matters.’
The CC immediately approved Liénart’s proposal, which was henceforth destined to be incorporated, not in a schema on the deposit of faith, but in Schema XVII.
A decisive contribution
Moeller’s commentary here was particularly significant. ‘It seems to me,’ he wrote in 1966, ‘that the introduction of the theme of the image of God in connection with the presence of the Church in the world is just as important as the adoption of the themes of collegiality and the People of God in Lumen Gentium.
‘How exactly did the theme of man as the image of God find its way into the texts of Vatican II?’ Moeller asked. It did so ‘precisely in the perspective of man’s dominion over the world, which is expressly connected with the divine image which irradiates his countenance,’ he answered.
As noted, Moeller identified the source of this as the preparatory schema, ‘De ordine morali christiano’ published in September 1962 by the preparatory Theological Commission, which had worked closely with the PCLA with respect to the theology of the lay apostolate. According to Moeller, it was Chapter V §23 of this schema that first ‘expressly’ linked ‘human dignity with the fact that man is made in the image of God.’ And as he also noted, this chapter was ‘distinguished by a very different tone’ from earlier chapters.
All of this coincided with Cardijn’s own insistence on the theme of man as the image of God, particularly in his January 1962 note for the PCLA on ‘L’apostolat essentiel, propre et irremplaçable de laïcs’:
However, in the apostolate of the Church, lay people have a specific, essential and irreplaceable mission that was given to the whole of humanity by the Creator at the very moment of Creation: that of procreating, taking possession of the earth, using it and developing it (Genesis I, 26-31).
Did this influence make its way into the preparatory schema, ‘De ordine morali christiano’ and hence into the new schema? In any event, the same notion had also been put forward by Liénart’s text, which was very likely influenced by Cardijn’s forthcoming book.
Thus, the notion of man created in the image of God, with a divine dignity and vocation rapidly became a defining characteristic of the future Gaudium et Spes, as Moeller noted:
Two facts nevertheless stand out. The theme of man made to the image of God appears in the very first version of a document that was not in fact accepted as it stood, but whose very substance was preserved during the preparation of the second text. The theme of human dignity which was to be the focus of the last three chapters of the second part of the final schema is already contained in this preliminary draft…
‘Principles and action of the Church for the good of society’: A preliminary compilation
Meanwhile, Suenens had proposed to the CC a six-chapter outline for the new Schema XVII to be divided into two sections:
a) a doctrinal section, setting out fundamental principles, and
b) a pastoral section, indicating ‘the directives to be followed in these matters.’
Title: Principles and action of the Church for the good of society
i. The admirable vocation of man according to God;
ii. The human person in society; Part II
iii. Matrimony, family and the demographic problem;
iv. Human culture;
v. The economic order and social justice;
vi. The international community and peace.
This was obviously based on a top-down doctrinal approach, paying little more than lip service to Liénart’s proposal for a more existential method. Moreover, Achille Glorieux clearly resented Suenens’ efforts to take control of the new schema. This was exactly what the latter had done with the schema on the Church, replacing an earlier schema prepared under the supervision of the conservative Dutch Jesuit Sebastian Tromp with an alternative drafted by Gerard Philips.
The Mixed Commission begins work
At Ottaviani’s suggestion, Pavan, Ferrari Toniolo, Sigmond and de Riedmatten were co-opted to begin the initial draft compilation with Achille Glorieux, who remained secretary of the LAC, as well as with the Franciscan Lio and Tromp, the secretary of the DC. They presented their initial text to the first meeting of the MC on 13 February.
To better manage the work – and perhaps to sidestep Suenens – the MC now decided to create a ‘Restricted Mixed Commission’ comprising eight bishops, the majority of whom were close to the Specialised Catholic Action movements. These were König (president), Griffiths, Pelletier and McGrath from the DC plus Hengsbach, Guano, Blomjous and Kominek from the LAC.
A list dated 10 February 1963 identified the periti involved as Pavan, Ferrari Toniolo, Quadri, Klostermann, Ramselaar, Prignon, Ligutti, Haubtmann, Sigmond, de Riedmatten, Hirschmann, Daniélou, Lio, Tucci and Medina (Chile). Although Italian-dominated, the presence of the Mater et Magistra drafting team was significant. So was the presence of Haubtmann, who would keep Liénart closely informed of the schema’s development.
An immediate consequence was the choice of a new name for the schema, ‘De Ecclesiae praesentia et actione in mundo hodierno’ (The presence and action of the Church in the world today). This became the first step in a long process of moving away from an exclusively doctrinal approach. Meanwhile, the drafters produced four successive revisions between February and April.
Discontent with Suenens re-surfaced on 4 April 1963, when Achille Glorieux wrote to Tromp insisting that Suenens’ comments on the schema were to be understood as ‘observations’ and not as ‘directives,’ implying that the latter had (again) overreached his mandate. Although not related to Palémon, Achille Glorieux was also from Lille, and he echoed a growing French frustration with the Belgian cardinal.
The impact of Pacem in Terris
Amid all this, John XXIII published his second social encyclical, Pacem in Terris, on 11 April 1963. Although this is reputed to have introduced the concept of the ‘signs of the times’ into formal papal social teaching, the Latin version actually made no reference to the term. Richard Schenk observes that the phrase first appeared in L’Osservatore Romano and in La Civilta Cattolica (of which Tucci was the editor), and henceforth in the Italian version, where it was used four times as a heading but not in the text, strongly implying that it was added later.
Nevertheless, as noted, John XIII had previously used the term in Humani salutis convoking the Council, recalling Jesus’ injunction to ‘interpret ‘the signs of the times’,’ including the ‘painful causes of anxiety’ evident in ‘the tragic situation’ of the world.
In the context of Schema XVII, however, it had become important to reassert the need to begin from existential reality. Thus, the added reference to ‘signs of the times’ in Pacem in Terris appeared to be a bid to provide a biblical foundation for taking ‘the description of concrete situations as its starting point’ in the development of an encyclical – and thus in a conciliar schema. Indeed, this was exactly the manner that defenders of an existential Schema XVII sought to make use of it.
A consultation with laity
Efforts had also begun to involve lay people. According to Glorieux, Ottaviani insisted from the beginning that lay people be consulted as the CC also requested. On 18 March, Glorieux met with Tromp to compile a list of twenty lay people to be invited to a consultation in Rome from 25-27 April.
Participants included Jean-Pierre Dubois-Dumée, the publisher of Cardijn’s book, Joseph Folliet, a Sillon sympathiser from Lyon, Ramon Sugranyes, Veronese, Rosemary Goldie and Mieczyslaw de Habicht (all Pax Romana) and the unionist, Auguste Vanistendael. However, there was no one currently involved in any Specialised Catholic Action movements, although Vanistendael was a former Jocist leader from Belgium, who had become an adviser to Cardinal Frings. This absence was particularly ironic in view of Cardijn’s earlier requests for lay involvement.
This suggests that there was resistance to the involvement of leaders of the SCA movements, and perhaps also of Cardijn himself. Where would such resistance have come from? Tromp was certainly cool to Cardijn and the JOC. Was Suenens also involved? In any event, in so far as Suenens wished to maintain a doctrinal approach for the new schema, there was no reason to involve Cardijn or the Specialised Catholic Action movements.
Astonishingly, Cardijn had still not been informed of the new schema or the lay consultation, despite his participation in the March LAC meeting. Achille Glorieux, who became secretary of the Mixed Commission, only learned of Cardijn’s appointment to the LAC on 25 February so was unable to provide Cardijn with any information about the new schema.
This blissful ignorance was finally shattered by a letter from Glorieux dated 9 May 1963 explaining why the section on social action in the revised schema on lay apostolate had been radically shortened. ‘It is because a whole section of what we had prepared earlier has been transferred to a new Schema ‘De praessentia et actione Ecclesiae in mundo hodierno,’ which was under preparation by a Mixed Commission, Glorieux wrote.
Stunned, Cardijn waited nearly two weeks before replying on 24 May. ‘I must say that I almost turned a somersault when I learned that two schemas were being prepared,’ he wrote. ‘Lay people are evidently not the only ones to act in and on the world,’ he continued, ‘but the apostolate of lay people is exercised in and on the world.’
‘How, then, to separate the two schemas? Doesn’t this by its very nature underestimate the importance of the apostolate of lay people in the world?’ he asked. ‘I would be happy, if possible, to receive a copy immediately of the draft of this new schema in order to be able to discuss it with the bishops.’
‘Alternatively, could you indicate from whom I could request it,’ Cardijn continued. ‘It would be such a shame if, by separating the two issues, the Council gave the impression of under-estimating the lay apostolate for the rechristianisation of the world of today and the future.’
Embarrassed, Glorieux replied on 27 May. ‘It is clear that the role of lay people is essential, and that will be clearly stated, insisting on that which is irreplaceable,’ he wrote, echoing Cardijn’s familiar refrain. ‘But the ensemble of chapters planned goes beyond the perspective of lay people alone; and that is why there is a new separate schema.’
‘For the moment, the texts are only provisional and need to be presented to the Coordination Commission on 4 June. You know that Cardinal Suenens is a member of that (commission); evidently he will be better placed to inform you about the schema,’ Glorieux concluded, telegraphing to Cardijn the source of his difficulties.
Given Suenens’ opposition to Cardijn’s conception of the ‘irreplaceable’ role of the laity, there was no chance of the latter perspective winning out while Suenens remained in charge of the schema.
The French seize the initiative
Suenens’ failure to inform Cardijn of the new schema contrasted sharply with Bishop Jacques Ménager, secretary-general for Catholic Action for the French bishops and a member of the LAC, who informed French peritus, Jean Streiff, on 18 April of the work that was about to begin. Streiff replied on 22 April stating that he had already been learned of Schema XVII from Glorieux, a month before the latter had informed Cardijn, helping explain Glorieux’s embarrassment at not having done so earlier.
Ménager’s reaction also foreshadowed the increasingly active role of the French bishops. Hence, Haubtmann, also obviously aware of the schema, wrote to Liénart on 29 May signalling that it had ‘badly tackled contemporary issues’ and needed to better situate ‘the spiritual mission of the Church with respect to the issues raised.’ Moreover, Rodhain had alerted Liénart over the lack of representation from the SCA movements among the drafters of the lay apostolate schema, explaining Liénart’s desire to redress the balance.
A new title: ‘The effective presence of the Church in the world’
Meanwhile, the drafting of Schema XVII continued without Cardijn’s involvement even if his influence had been felt via Liénart, Palémon Glorieux and others. Although the chapters on the human person and the human vocation would have pleased the JOC chaplain, the text was still far from perfect. Congar, for example, sent his own critique (style too abstract, lack of Gospel spirit) of the draft to several cardinals and bishops including Suenens, Cento, Léger and Garrone.
The much-revised Rome Draft was finally presented to the full Mixed Commission, including all bishops from both the DC and LAC, at a series of meetings from 20-25 May 1963. Here there was general agreement that the doctrinal section was progressing with its ‘doctrine of man’ based on ‘the biblical truth’ of man as ‘the image of God,’ as Liénart had proposed. But there was uncertainty as to how to deal with the various concrete issues involved: marriage and family, culture, economics and social justice, the world community and peace.
According to Tucci, several participants at the MC meeting expressed doubts that it was opportune for the Council to pronounce itself on such contingent issues. Other no doubt more Jocist-inspired voices, however, insisted that ‘the world expected concrete responses from the Church to the most anguishing social and moral problems.’ This Jocist influence also emerged in the updated title of the schema, which now read ‘The effective presence of the Church in the world of today.’
The July 1963 text
The newly revised plan, later described by Haubtmann as founded upon a notion of ‘Christian animation of the temporal sphere,’ maintained the original two doctrinal and pastoral parts and six chapters (the names of which had also been slightly altered) under the title: ‘The effective presence of the Church in the world of today.’
Before any further progress could be made, however, John XXIII died on 3 June 1963, leading to the suspension of the Council until the installation of Paul VI on 30 June. During this inter-regnum, Cardijn’s long delayed Laïcs en premières lignes finally made its appearance.
Once the new pope confirmed that the Council would proceed, the Rome Draft (primum according to Glorieux’s classification) of Schema XVII was submitted to the CC on 4 July 1963 where further criticisms were made. The critics included Suenens, who remained rapporteur on behalf of the CC. ‘In my opinion, the proposed
text is certainly better than the earlier draft and it contains excellent paragraphs; however, it is not yet apt to be presented to the Council,’ Suenens opined.
Among his reasons, he noted that ‘the Council… should be careful not to confuse the data of sociological experience, changing over the course of time, with the principles of faith and the natural law.’ This was obviously a shot at the members of the MC and drafting team who wanted an inductive schema founded on lived experience.
No doubt responding to the growing influence of these Jocist forces, Suenens again attempted to take over the drafting process, obtaining a mandate from the CC to prepare a new draft. This was to be prepared by a new special commission that would set out the ‘general principles’ based on ‘biblical and patristic doctrine,’ which would form the ‘theological and dogmatic preface’ to the schema. Only ‘principles for solution’ would be offered and not ‘recipes’ to solve problems. The preface was to be based on Chapter I on the human vocation of the person from Part I of the Rome Draft.
With respect to the ‘specific issues’ that formed Part II, these were each to be studied by a special commission that would work together with chosen clerics and laity. Since in Suenens’ view these were contingent and therefore non-conciliar matters, the Council would then simply approve the conclusions of each special commission in forma globali and publish them as ‘instructions.’
The Louvain/Malines Draft
Armed with this mandate, Suenens invited several experts to a meeting in Malines from 6-8 September 1963. All clergy, these experts included Cerfaux, Prignon, Philips, Thils, Moeller, Dondeyne, and Delhaye, all from Louvain, although Delhaye also taught in Lille and in Canada, as well as Congar, Rahner, Rigaux and Tucci, all of whom were theologians.
Although he was from Louvain, Houtart, a sociologist, did not take part, nor did Calvez, presumably not invited. Similarly, Chenu, already well known as a partisan of the ‘signs of the times’ approach, was ‘excluded,’ to use the term of the historian Giovanni Turbanti, even though – or perhaps because – Chenu had recently sent Suenens, whom he clearly regarded as an ally, a copy of an article that he had written on Pacem in Terris and the signs of the times. Also absent was De Riedmatten, the ICO chaplain, who had warned Congar that there would be ‘immense disappointment’ if the schema limited itself to ‘principles and generalities’ and failed to indicate ‘concrete solutions.’ Evidently, Cardijn was not invited.
Suenens’ aims were also clear from the fact that he asked Philips to preside at the Malines meeting. Here, Philips explained that the new schema, which became known as the Louvain or Malines Draft, would be divided into two sections:
Part I: A theological exposé on the presence of the Church in the world and its dogmatic significance, which would be presented to a vote in aula for adoption as a conciliar text.
Part II: This would address specific issues examined in Part I with some eventual proposals on which the Council would offer its views without formally pronouncing, while a post-conciliar commission would take charge of their definitive formulation.
Just as they had done in preparing the Second World Congress on Lay Apostolate in 1957, Suenens and Philips now sought to ensure that Schema XVII would follow the doctrinal approach. Moreover, since Suenens claimed to have a mandate from the CC, the plan was not subject to debate.
The content of Part I was pure Suenens and divided into three sections:
I: De Ecclesiae propria missione: The proper mission of the Church (i.e. not of the laity) considered above all ‘under its aspect of evangelisation of the world’;
II: De mundo aedificando: This section considered the autonomy of the world ‘based on the principle of the distinction between the world of temporal realities, created by God and regulated by his laws, and the Church’;
III: De officiis Ecclesiae erga mundum: This developed the task of the Church under three headings: witness, charitable service, and communion.
Simply put, this was Suenens’ book, Eglise en état de mission, in conciliar clothing. Predictably, the meeting concluded by mandating Philips to prepare a new draft based on this outline, which was re-discussed on 17 September and finalised on 22 September.
Nevertheless, the Suenens-Philips project did not meet with unanimous approval, even among the handpicked participants. ‘The task had been clearly established from the beginning by Msgr Philips, who presided,’ wrote Tucci in his account, delicately dissociating himself from it.
During the meeting, Dondeyne argued for a ‘less theological’ perspective ‘more resolutely turned to the problems of the world,’ as expressed in his book La foi écoute le monde, or ‘Faith listens to the world,’ which would appear several months later. Indeed, both Dondeyne and Rahner criticised the ‘ecclesio-centric’ orientation of Philips’ text. It is thus noteworthy that Dondeyne was ‘empêché’ or ‘unavailable’ (deliberately?) along with Rahner, for the final meeting of the Malines group on 17-18 September.
Surprisingly, Congar seems not to have reacted, although he agreed that the Council needed to be aware of the ‘real situation in the world.’ In fact, in his journal, Congar noted that Dondeyne ‘did not quite see that we are dealing with a dogmatic constitution.’
Achille Glorieux’s evaluation of the Malines initiative was also instructive. Writing to the Dominican Bernard Lambert in 1984, he noted:
You say correctly… that the Louvain Schema was ‘much less known, even among the members of the (Mixed) Commission.’ I question to which ‘competent organs’ Cardinal Suenens presented his text: the co-presidents of the Mixed Commission? But Cardinal Cento did not send me anything. To the Coordination Commission, which, according to him, had mandated him to prepare a new text?
Glorieux thus dismissed the project as a personal initiative by Suenens that he had illegitimately sought to cover with the authority of the Coordinating Commission. This was similar to the way that Suenens had recruited Philips to produce a new draft of the schema on the Church. However, whereas Philips’ schema was accepted as the basis of Lumen Gentium, Suenens’ attempt to do the same for Schema XVII was doomed to failure. Glorieux’s contempt for Suenens’ manipulations was evident from the fact that his chronology of drafts of the schema failed to mention the Louvain Draft.
Later, McGrath would offer the most incisive critique of the Malines Draft. ‘Even the theologians regarded as progressive, who were actively at work to brilliantly renew the definition of the Church in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium rebelled against anything that might resemble an empirical analysis of the world,’ he wrote in 1966. ‘They forcefully affirmed that a Council needed to proceed by the surest theological means, i.e. starting from the principles of revelation, from which one draws the norms of faith and morals, including for the temporal order.’ But no-one admitted this publicly in 1964.
Meanwhile, Suenens’ initiative ‘aroused the wrath’ of Garrone, who would play a major role in the further development of Schema XVII, and whose disputes with Suenens stretched back to the World Congress of 1957. Suenens’ plan to take control of the schema was about to completely backfire.
The Jocist bishops take action
Camara seeks red hat for Cardijn
Although shocked to learn of Schema XVII in May, there is no indication Cardijn contacted Suenens as Achille Glorieux had suggested. After the experience with his book, there was no point. Moreover, given Suenens’ role as metropolitan archbishop, it would have compromised other Belgian bishops to involve them. Instead, Cardijn began to seek support from the Jocist Council Fathers (including by promoting his book!).
Thus, on 1 July he wrote to Camara suggesting that he contact Paul VI to discuss Camara’s plans for CELAM in Latin America. But he also wanted to meet Camara to re-emphasise the importance of the lay apostolate. ‘The world expects a clear and firm declaration,’ Cardijn wrote, underlining the words. ‘And lay people are ready to respond to the call of the Council, provided that call is clear and that means are set out to give the lay apostolate its whole importance and its whole effectiveness.’ In reply, as we have noted, Camara signalled his intention to request John XXIII for a red hat for Cardijn, emphasising that ‘our JOC will be supported decisively and totally.’
Similarly, Cardijn contacted the French JOC chaplain, Adrien Dewitte, and Palémon Glorieux at Lille in an unsuccessful effort to meet with Liénart, who was in Rome. Not to be thwarted, Cardijn wrote an unusually emphatic and long letter expressing his concerns to Glorieux, whose own book Nature et mission de l’Eglise had just appeared.
‘May the Council proclaim… the apostolic and missionary value and mission of each person, in his earthly life, for all his human and earthly needs and for the transformation of the world and humanity according to the plan of creation and redemption,’ Cardijn wrote.
‘May the apostolic and missionary value and mission of each person inspire in the Church an apostolic and missionary spirit that is expressed in the whole catechesis, liturgy, pastoral activity in order that all members of the Church – priests, religious and lay people – understand their proper role in view of this apostolate,’ he continued.
‘May all priests be formed for this apostolate,’ Cardijn continued. ‘May the state of lay life in all its aspects appear and be transformed into an apostolate… May this apostolic transformation of the state of life be realised in specialised movements directed by lay people, assisted by priests, and mandated by the Hierarchy,’ Cardijn wrote.
‘We ardently desire that the Council Fathers clearly express their desire to see realised this double aspect of the lay apostolate: the proper aspect and the aspect of coordination, from the grassroots up to the summit.’
It was vintage Cardijn and a powerful appeal – an alarm – that even without mentioning Suenens, cannot have failed to move both Palémon Glorieux and Liénart, who remained president of the French Assemblée des cardinaux et des archevêques and now enjoyed the extra authority conferred by his First Session intervention.
The movements mobilise
Meanwhile, the JOCI continued to follow the work of the Council. President, Bartolo Perez from Brazil had strong ties with Latin American bishops while other leaders, and especially chaplains, were well connected via the network of Jocist and SCA bishops. In February 1963 the movement published a document entitled ‘Some proposals concerning the lay apostolate solicited by several bishops,’ which basically summarised Laïcs en premières lignes and concretised several proposals, including the establishment of a Vatican secretariat for the lay apostolate.
Following the success of its Executive Meeting in Germany in 1962, the JOCI organised its next meeting in Montreal – the heart of the Jocist stronghold of francophone Canada. This took place in September 1963, just weeks before the opening of the Second Session providing an excellent opportunity to lobby the Canadian Council Fathers.
Further collaboration developed with the JOCI’s movements leading in August 1963 to the publication of a document ‘Specialised Catholic Action among Youth’ produced by the JOCI, the JECI (International Young Christian Students) and the MIJARC (International Movement of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth).
Yet, in a further sign that these movements remained on the outer, Vanistendael remained the only person with a Specialised Catholic Action movement background among the first (all male) group of eleven lay auditors invited to attend the Second Session. 
Cardijn as peritus
More positively, when this Session opened on 29 September 1963, Cardijn was finally present as a peritus. Having just returned from Montreal, he arrived in Rome on 28 September and remained until 15 October. Typically, he arranged for fourteen movement lay leaders and chaplains to join him in Rome from 6-13 October 1963.
A document prepared for the visit entitled ‘La JOC Internationale en 1963’ outlined the movement’s work, particularly its campaigns on Work and Big Cities, its concern for international solidarity and its continental training programs. Once again, it was classic Cardijn delivering his message through the example of the JOC.
By now, well over one hundred bishops and many periti had received copies of Laïcs en premières lignes, including many who were directly involved with the schemas on the Church and the world. It is thus inconceivable that Schema XVII did not figure in the discussions and meetings of his fortnight at the Second Session, as shown by the fact that Cardijn now possessed an early draft of the document.
Partnership with Paul VI
Having known Montini for thirty years, Cardijn immediately sought a papal audience which took place on 10 October 1963. It was nearly ten years since Paul VI had left the Secretariat of State for Milan. Yet ‘the affection of the Holy Father was moving,’ Cardijn wrote to Guérin, as was his ‘desire to restore intimate collaboration.’
Nevertheless, the pope was ‘ignorant of the movement today’ and did not ‘understand either its extent or its activity,’ Cardijn noted. Rather, he was ‘preoccupied with the problems of the Church, the Hierarchy and ecumenism.’ Therefore, he needed updating on the issues facing young workers as well as the movement’s activities and concerns.
Cardijn also made sure to obtain an autograph letter that was issued on 4 November. The JOC was ‘the providential instrument’ of the Church enabling young workers to become ‘conscious of their marvellous destiny,’ ‘teaching them to live in accordance with their dignity as children of God,’ Paul VI wrote. This ‘great educative and apostolic movement’ assisted young workers ‘to discover and implement themselves the Christian and human solution to the problems of their lives,’ the pope continued. Likely based on suggestions by Cardijn, it provided a vital new papal endorsement of the JOC and its methods.
Meanwhile, Cardijn had obtained an early version of the Rome Draft of Schema XVII, as indicated by a note he wrote entitled ‘Présence et action de l’église dans le monde d’aujourd’hui,’ the early working title of the schema. Filed in Cardijn’s Archives in a folder entitled ‘Pour le Saint Père – Secrétairerie d’Etat,’ it was also marked in Fiévez’s handwriting ‘attendre’: ‘wait.’ Thus, it is not clear whether Cardijn sent this note to Paul VI.
Still, it was an important note clearly revealing Cardijn’s true thoughts. ‘Several people are astonished and others are worried by the announcement of two separate schemas to be presented to the next session of the Ecumenical Council,’ Cardijn wrote, ‘the first schema dealing with the Apostolate of the Laity, the second with the Presence and action of the Church in the world of today.’
How was it possible to separate the two schemas? ‘Isn’t the presence and action of the Church in the world,’ Cardijn asked, ‘primordially the presence and action of the personal and organised apostolate of lay people in the world?’ Did not such a separation imply that the Council was going ‘to restrict the notion and the zone of the lay apostolate, even while highlighting the presence and action of the Church in the world?’
Certainly, Cardijn understood the counter-arguments, as listed by Suenens himself, i.e. that ‘[l]ay people alone do not represent the whole Church in the world… it is the whole Church which acts in the world, influences and transform it.’ Moreover, the lay apostolate was not ‘limited to its presence and action in the world’ with each person having ‘an apostolic role in the Church itself and every field.’
Nevertheless, this did not deter him from his own fundamental concern for the Council ‘to insist on the importance of the apostolate proper to the laity in the world.’ (Cardijn’s emphasis) Hence the need for the Council to express this in a ‘clear, solemn, striking fashion’ and for ‘the two schemas to be intimately linked in exposing the absolute necessity of the apostolate proper to the laity and the apostolate of the whole Church in the world of today and tomorrow.’
Once again, this was Cardijn’s conciliar triptych: Church, world, and lay apostolate. It also constituted his critique of Schema XVII. But he had no direct channel for introducing this reflection into its preparation.
Inter Mirifica: The first document to adopt the see-judge-act
In parallel with all this, the Council moved ahead towards the adoption of its first documents, namely the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium and the Decree on the Media of Social Communications, Inter Mirifica, both of which were promulgated on 4 December 1963.
Regarding the latter, we recall that during the First Session French Archbishop René Stourm, rapporteur for the schema on the Media of Social Communications, had adopted Cardijn’s educate-serve-represent trilogy in his presentation of the schema, which was prepared by a sub-commission of the Lay Apostolate Commission.
It is therefore significant that the final decree also became the first to introduce the see-judge-act into a conciliar document. Thus, §4 insisted that in order to make ‘proper use’ of social communication media, media workers – many of whom were laity – needed to ‘be acquainted with the norms of morality and conscientiously put them into practice.’ To achieve this, however, they needed to follow a three-step process, which emerges most clearly in the Latin version of the document. Thus, media workers needed first to look at the ‘nature of what is being communicated;’ secondly, they needed to consider ‘the entire situation or circumstances,’ which may affect its ‘propriety’ or ‘integrity’ (Latin: honestas); in order, thirdly, to decide upon the proper mode of acting (Latin: modus agendi).
Overall, however, the decree retained a more traditional ‘doctrinal’ structure, comprising an Introduction, followed by a first chapter expounding Church teaching and a second chapter on its pastoral application. Intriguingly, however, the Introduction also pointedly opened with an exposition of the ‘wonderful technological discoveries’ of the ‘present era’ that had led to the development of the media (§1).
In effect, this transformed the structure of Inter Mirifica into a see-judge-act format with the Introduction providing the ‘see,’ Chapter I on Church doctrine, the ‘judge,’ and Chapter II on pastoral applications, the ‘act.’ This precisely foreshadowed a similar evolution in the successive schemas that finally emerged as Gaudium et Spes.
Towards the Zurich Draft
The Central Sub-Commission
Meanwhile, since the Second Session was also busy with the schemas on the Church, the episcopate and ecumenism, the Mixed Commission did not meet again until 29 November. However, there were now two competing texts to consider, the May 1963 Rome Draft and the Malines Draft.
However, the Malines text had not been widely distributed, upsetting members of the MC, who had been by-passed by Suenens’ initiative. Even among those who were aware of it, like Garrone, there was considerable discontent, particularly from those of a Jocist orientation, who criticised it for being too exclusively ‘theological’ or doctrinal.
Several members called for a text closer in spirit and methodology to Mater et Magistra (see-judge-act) and the more recent Pacem in Terris (signs of the times). According to Tucci, certain participants felt that the Malines text, ‘leaving aside any allusion to the gravest problems of humanity today, had lost its bite and failed to respond to the expectations of our time.’ Nevertheless, it was noted that the Suenens text had improved on the May text with a greater focus on the human vocation and in broadening the theological vision of the links between the Church and the world.
In response, the idea emerged for a new, more concrete and more pastoral text synthesising the earlier texts. To achieve this, Canadian Bishop Georges Pelletier, another ex-Jocist chaplain, proposed the creation of a new ‘Restricted Commission,’ which became known as the ‘Central Sub-Commission’ (CSC), to be elected by secret ballot from the members of the DC and the LAC.
Elected were Ancel, McGrath, Schröffer, Guano, Hengsbach and Ménager, all of whom except Guano, had direct links with the Jocist movements. Perhaps in a gesture of even-handedness, Guano was elected by the Sub-Commission as president and two further members co-opted, Blomjous, a Dutch bishop also sympathetic to the JOC, and the American John Wright. Thus, while Suenens remained nominally in charge of the schema, the Cardijn bishops gained control over the drafting.
By the same token, there was no certainty that the schema would gain the approval of the required conciliar majority. Thus, regardless of the difficulties, Suenens’ active or at least tacit support for the schema, of which he remained rapporteur, remained critical. Despite their clear desire for a schema starting from lived experience, the CSC members therefore proceeded cautiously.
Ménager’s proposal: Signs of the times and the see-judge-act
Significant too were a series of letters and notes by Ménager in December 1963 where the issue was not whether to use the see-judge-act method but how to apply it. Commenting on the Malines draft, Ménager immediately signalled his disagreement with Suenens on the ‘question of method.’
Although the doctrinal elements were ‘interesting’ and the practical applications ‘numerous and well chosen,’ the plan was ‘too ‘scholastic’ and theoretical,’ Ménager warned. ‘It starts from the Church which magisterially sets out its doctrine without considering the problems that anguish the world, except in a few more or less timeless principles and a few over-generalised examples,’ he warned.
What was required was a ‘dynamic’ method that ‘took people where they are (their problems, their questions)’ in order to ‘lead them progressively towards a discovery’ rather than an exposition that was ‘static’ or limited to ‘abstract principles.’ Nor did this amount to ‘situational theology,’ Ménager argued, anticipating criticism.
Rather, ‘an authentic presentation of the revealed message starting from Revelation, in response to the questions asked by people today,’ was needed. Hence, Ménager proposed, there was ‘not the least theological difficulty’ in setting out:
1. The questions posed by the world today (as the problematic)
2. The theological principles that form the basis of a theological response to these questions
3. The concrete application of these principles to the questions raised.
Ménager developed the same see-judge-act argumentation in a second note dated 15 December 1963 in which he insisted, again in unmistakably Jocist terms, on the need to progressively bring people towards the discovery of:
a) a true understanding of their lives as people and the practical consequences
b) their total vocation in God’s plan (divine vocation).
Thus, the main theological argument of the schema should focus on ‘Christ as Lord and Servant, Creator Word and Incarnated Word Redeemer,’ Ménager suggested. Since Christ was a living person, this was more accessible to people than the more ‘Platonic’ theme of the image of God deformed and restored.
Haubtmann also received a copy of Ménager’s notes, proposing a slightly modified formulation, developing Mater et Magistra and Pacem in Terris, and beginning from ‘the situation of the world (signs of the times) and the call of the people who await a response from the Church (Freedom and personal dignity. World hunger. Peace and friendship.)
In another note, however, dated 22 December 1963, Ménager questioned whether even such an approach, which remained ‘deductive’ in its manner of applying ‘theological principles,’ was adequate. It might be ‘more easily accepted… by the bishops,’ but ‘would it be accepted by non-believers?’ he asked.
Thus, he proposed a new outline emphasising the personal and the human. Thus, the ‘signs of the times’ to be observed included ‘the concrete calls of the people, their ‘desire for liberty and personal dignity through education…,’ their ‘need for responsibility and participation…’ as well as for ‘peace and friendship among people….’
Similarly, the new ‘judge’ section accentuated ‘the nature of man’ and ‘authentic human progress’ and the need for Christians and all people of good will to place themselves at the service of this humanity.’ Hence, ‘properly Christian perspectives’ for action would need to be founded on ‘human dignity,’ as well as God’s ‘plan of creation’ and ‘plan of Redemption and Resurrection.’
Yet he did not ‘dare to insist’ on such an outline because of his ‘fear that the Theological Commission would have difficulty accepting it and this may block the project.’
Ancel’s proposal: Dialogue and dialectic
In a similar vein, Ancel wrote to Guano on 19 December with a detailed proposal for a revised schema that also bore a clear Jocist imprint. Indeed, Ancel’s proposal abounded with expressions very likely borrowed from Cardijn’s Laïcs en premières lignes: God’s plan, the meaning of earthly life, the continuity between the orders of creation and redemption, not opposing the spiritual and the temporal, the role ‘proper’ to lay people as lay people, who must ‘become conscious of their apostolic responsibilities.’
While praising the ‘excellent project of Cardinal Suenens,’ which could be used for ‘its scriptural sources’ and ‘general orientations,’ Ancel, like Ménager, rejected its narrow focus on ‘evangelisation’:
In fact, Cardinal Suenens speaks of evangelisation of the world in his draft… Unless we receive precise instructions asking us to deal with everything concerning the dialogue of the Church and the world, we should, it seems to me, content ourselves with studying that which is properly our task, namely the Church with respect to the great problems of our time.
Moreover, since the schema should be addressed to ‘all men’ and should have ‘a dialogue character,’ it should be drafted as follows:
A prooemium would set out in a general manner what the world expects from the Church, what the response of the Church will be and how that response will be situated with respect to the questions posed.
Next, five chapters corresponding roughly to the May 1963 draft would present the main problems of the world and the response that the Church makes to them.
Finally, a conclusion would present the supreme request of the world. The world would like the Church to show itself increasingly under the aspect of Christ, i.e. poor, servant and totally independent, in order that it could more easily give to people the doctrine of Christ.
Drawing on Paul VI’s speech opening the Second Session, Ancel’s letter, thus proposed to structure the schema as a ‘dialogue’ between ‘the great problems of our time,’ and the ‘response of the Church.’ In effect, Ancel was re-framing Cardijn’st Three Truths dialectic, in which the contradiction would be resolved by developing a more authentically Christ-like poorer, independent, and servant Church.
Towards a ‘dialogue’ schema
Ten days later, on 30 December, representatives of the Sub-Commission met with the German Redemptorist Bernard Häring, as well as Sigmond and Tucci in order to plan the work based on suggestions and observations from Hengsbach, Schröffer, Ménager, Renard, Hien and Ancel.
Here it was decided that the basis of the new draft would not be ‘a mere doctrinal instruction’ but should look at and promote ‘dialogue with the world of today.’ This implied both ‘listening to the Word of God revealed in Christ’ as well as to ‘the real conditions of the world of today, its anguishes and the positive possibilities of all men.’ It also implied ‘dialogue with all men,’ including ‘separated brethren’ and ‘men of all cultures.’
While the CSC rejected a ‘purely doctrinal’ schema, it also sought to avoid a purely ‘sociological’ document, making no mention of the see-judge-act or even ‘signs of the times.’ As Ancel had proposed, the emphasis was placed on ‘dialogue’ between the truths of reality and the truth of the Gospel message.
Despite hesitating over the use of the see-judge-act in a conciliar document, the new drafting guidelines immediately adopted other Jocist themes and concerns: the Church in the world, the new role of lay people in a pluralist society, in a world tending towards unity, the centrality of the dignity of the human person, international solidarity, hunger, etc., as well as the existing aspects of family, culture, social order, peace, etc., which were to be developed in a series of ‘Annexes.’
Following this meeting, various participants organised study sessions in their home countries during January 1964. Thus, Hengsbach met with Schröffer, Höffner and Hirschmann in Germany, while Camara gathered a group in Brazil. In France, Ménager and Ancel organised study groups in which several JOC and ACO chaplains took part. As Haubtmann’s archives show, leaders of the adult SCA movements were systematically consulted by the French bishops and periti.
Meanwhile, the Rome-based Commission members, including Häring, met in January to draft a preliminary text, now with the provisional title ‘The active participation of the Church in the construction of the world’ and with the following outline:
Introduction: Solidarity of the Council with humanity; Progress and failures of humanity; Questions about the human race; Aim of the schema; The Church at the service of the world.
Chapter I: The integral vocation of the human person
Chapter II: The Church at the service of God and Man
Chapter III: Participation in the construction of the world
Chapter IV: The most urgent tasks: Hunger (physical and spiritual) and human development; economic well-being and culture; the family; peace.
Chapter V: An appeal to separated brethren and men of goodwill.
Annexes: These would deal with the subjects of Chapter IV in more detail.
A rough draft along these lines was completed for consideration at the next full meeting of the CSC set for Zurich from 1-3 February 1964.
The Zurich meeting
All members of the CSC except for Blomjous took part in the Zurich meeting as well as Glorieux, Tucci, Sigmond, Hirschmann, Glorieux, De Riedmatten, Medina and Moeller as did two lay people, the Pax Romana men, Sugranyes and De Habicht. The desire to make a clean break with Suenens’ plan was evident in the fact that only Tucci and Moeller remained from the Malines meeting.
As Tucci noted, it was established that the issue of evangelisation in the sense of the Malines Draft was no longer to be considered. Secondly, rather than offering a ‘theology of earthly realities,’ the objective was to offer ‘a theological interpretation of the real situation of the modern world and the tasks that this implied for Christians.’
Several other redactional principles were also agreed, as summarised by historian Evangelista Vilanova:
1. The idea of dialogue with the modern world;
2. Solidarity of the Church with the whole human race;
3. The principle of the ‘signs of the times;’
4. An anthropological and Christological principle based on the human person and Christ.
These guidelines were expanded in three important notes:
a) ‘Suggestions for the drafting of the Pastoral Instruction on the CHURCH IN THE WORLD’: This insisted on the importance of characterising ‘the signs of the times,’ citing Pacem in Terris, and offered a biblical foundation for the need to analyse ‘the conditions of life.’
b) ‘Note of the Sub-Commission on the nature of the schema and the norms used in developing it’: This sought to distinguish ‘speculative theology,’ which provided a basis for interpreting the ‘reality of the present time,’ and ‘practical theology,’ which provided ‘the norms for action of Christians’ with respect to a particular situation.
c) ‘The history, character, method and spirituality of SCHEMA XVII’. This explanatory document, reputedly written by Häring, contrasted the Ménager and Ancel proposals, emphasising that the schema should respond concretely to various issues, and be imbued with ‘spirituality’ of a ‘combination of opposites’ that were in ‘harmonious tension.’
Given the involvement of so many Jocist-formed bishops in this process, these are clear echoes of Cardijn’s Proudhonian dialectic, as the subsequent evolution of the schema would show.
Following the Zurich meeting, the draft was further revised in February for presentation to the Mixed Commission in Rome in March, which endorsed its overall direction. After further revision, the CSC met on 3 June in Rome, followed the next day by the full MC meeting. During this meeting Philips and Rahner criticised what they regarded as a ‘confusion’ in the schema of ‘the natural and supernatural orders in the world.’
Nevertheless, the MC approved the schema by a large majority, and submitted it to the CC, who also approved it for submission to the Council, now renumbered as Schema XIII. On 3 July 1964, Paul VI himself issued instructions to distribute the schema, entitled ‘ The Church in the world today,’ to the Council Fathers.
The advocacy of the Jocist network
Visits to Rome
Meanwhile, Cardijn continued to make his presence felt, travelling to Argentina, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Germany in following months. The German and Dutch editions of Laïcs en premières lignes also appeared. The same year, the JOCI held its ExCo meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and organised a major ‘Euro Rally’ at Strasbourg in August 1964, which was notable for a recorded address by Paul VI.
Cardijn continued to participate in the Lay Apostolate Commission meetings, visiting Rome from 1-14 March 1964, where he planned to meet with Ménager, Veronese and (if possible) with Liénart. He was thus in Rome throughout the period of the Mixed Commission meetings. He returned to Rome from 31 May to 7 June, corresponding with the dates of the June CSC and MC meetings. Given his longstanding links with many members of these commissions – and the Jocist orientation that the schema had now taken – it is impossible to believe that he did not discuss the progress of Schema XIII with these bishops and periti.
On his second visit, he had another audience with Paul VI where he suggested an encyclical on youth, an issue that had been largely ignored by the Council. According to Cardijn’s notes, this would focus particularly on ‘the education of youth,’ which was to take place ‘in the world of today,’ a phrase that Cardijn evidently wanted the Pope to make his own. The proposed encyclical would also address ‘the future of humanity,’ ‘the world of work,’ ‘opportunities and dangers,’ ‘missionary aid,’ etc., all themes on which Cardijn hoped to rally the pope to the Jocist cause and method and by implication to Schema XIII.
Reflections for Ecclesiam Suam
This proposal failed, however, as Paul VI was preparing his first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam, for which he also sought input from Cardijn, who requested Fiévez to gather notes. The outcome was a ten-page reflection sent to Archbishop Dell’Acqua on 30 July 1964, together with forty pages of philosophical and theological quotations illustrating the remarkable breadth of his (and Fiévez’s!) reading: Dondeyne, Zundel, Congar, Kung, Visser t’Hooft, Suenens, Folliet, Patriarch Athenagoras, John Meyendorff, Guitton, Pax Christi, Mounier’s magazine Esprit…
The central point was that dialogue should start, not from the summit, but from the people, from reality, from ‘[l]ife, as it happens at the grassroots,’ which is where ‘dialogue is incarnated, as the Spirit of Christ leads it every day at the heart of humanity.’ ‘The whole Jocist movement – its method, its action, the formation that it gives, its extension and its international unity – are all based on dialogue,’ Cardijn argued.
‘The most elementary and most concrete form of dialogue’ was that which took place ‘around the circumstances of the life of the young worker,’ and which led him gradually ‘towards the deepest internal dialogue’ revealing ‘the value of his life, his vocation and his divine destiny.’ The see-judge-act was itself ‘an education in dialogue’ that produced ‘tangible fruit,’ which could never be achieved through ‘teaching passively received from on high.’
Although it was too late for Cardijn’s note to seriously impact on the encyclical, which was published on 6 August, Dell’Acqua thanked him, adding that the pope was familiar with his notes and, importantly, wanted to see ‘a serious and positive dialogue between the Church and the world today.’
Thus, the encyclical insisted in §96 that dialogue was based on ‘seeing the concrete situation very clearly’ while §78 proposed dialogue as ‘a method of approach’ in a clear pontifical endorsement of the dialogue approach now embodied in Schema XIII.
Moreover, Ecclesiam Suam also cited the phrase ‘in the world’ precisely in the sense proposed by Cardijn and by the Schema thirteen times. In Häring’s view, the encyclical had a ‘decisive impact,’ a view also supported by Archbishop Marcos McGrath and Tucci.
The see-judge-act lobby
Meanwhile, the Jocist bishops and periti continued their efforts. In early 1964, Camara drafted a 9,000-word essay entitled L’Eglise, Lumen Gentium, comprising his ‘suggestions for the reformulation of Schema XVII.’ This was a detailed see-judge-act reflection, in French, which was divided as follows:
I. The signs of the times
II. The Church confronts the world
III. The Church, leaven of the world.
In Canada, Maurice Roy chaired a Comité de consultation for the Canadian bishops, which concluded that Schema XVII should begin from the ‘situation today,’ and show a Church ‘existentially involved’ in the world, showing that it ‘understood better than anybody what was in store for the world in the year 2000.’ Hence the need ‘to situate itself concretely with respect to global modern reality.’
In France, priests linked to the Mission Ouvrière, the JOC and the ACO continued to meet to develop reflections which they submitted to the French bishops. Chenu wrote his famous article Les signes des temps, which appeared in January 1965 in the Belgian journal, Nouvelle Revue Théologique, in a clear shot at Suenens and Philips.
 Also in Belgium, Dondeyne’s book La foi écoute le monde appeared while Houtart published L’Eglise et le monde, A propos du schema 17. The efforts of the Jocist network were slowly coalescing into an overwhelming force.
The Third Session debate
A packed agenda
When the Third Session opened on 14 September 1964, twenty-one lay auditors were present, including Patrick Keegan and Bartolo Perez, Auguste Vanistendael – all with a Jocist background – plus Marie Louise Monnet from the MIAMSI, quadrupling the number of auditors from the SCA movements in another sign of Paul VI’s favour – and Cardijn’s influence.
The packed agenda included finalising the schema on the Church, which became Lumen Gentium, as well as the decrees on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, and on the Eastern Churches, Orientalium Ecclesiarum. Many other schemas were also listed for debate, including those on religious liberty and lay apostolate.
Cardijn arrived in Rome on 13 September and stayed until 13 October, the last day of debate on the lay apostolate schema. He therefore missed the debate on Schema XIII, which took place from 20 October until 5 November. Nor was he in Rome during the important preparatory meeting of the CSC held from 10-12 September. Nevertheless, prior to his arrival, he did send an 8 September note to Bishop Van Zuylen of Liège entitled ‘De Juventute’ lamenting the lack of reference to youth in Schema XIII and calling for greater attention to this issue.
This time he did not have an audience with Paul VI. However, he did meet Dell’Acqua on 12 October to discuss the pope’s forthcoming December trip to Bombay for the Eucharistic Congress, and where he would also open the Joseph Cardijn Technical School in the presence of its patron.
Preparing the debate
The September CSC meeting decided also to invite the presidents and vice-presidents of the sub-commissions working on the annexes, a decision which further reinforced the Jocist ascendancy at the meeting whose participants now included:
Bishops: Cardinal König, Bishops Ancel, Blomjous, Charue, Dearden, Garrone, Guano, Hengsbach, McGrath, Ménager, Roy, Schröffer, Wright.
Periti: Ferrari Toniolo, Glorieux, Pavan, Philips, Thils, Delhaye, Haubtmann, Moeller, Benoit, Congar, Daniélou, de Riedmatten, Gagnebet, Häring, Hirschmann, Lebret, Medina, K. Rahner, Rigaux, Semmelroth, Sigmond, Thomas, Tucci.
Lay auditors: Habicht, Larnaud, Manzini, Sugranyes de Franch, Vanistendael.
Inevitably the meeting further criticised the Zurich draft, considering it a step backwards from Pacem in Terris and Ecclesiam Suam, as well as too ‘moralistic,’ sometimes ‘triumphalist,’ as well as imprecise in its references to ‘the world.’ Moreover, it was too ‘occidental,’ its theology of earthly realities weak, etc.
In a bid to remedy these shortcomings, the CSC created two new Sub-Commissions, namely:
a) A Theological Sub-Commission (TSC) to clarify the doctrinal issues, including the theological significance of the ‘world,’ the relationship between the Creation and the Redemption, as well as the ‘value’ of the ‘signs of the times.’
b) An innovative ‘Signs of the Times’ Sub-Commission (STSC) to study world realities within a broader perspective than that of the original particular subjects (family, culture, economics, etc.).
It also adopted further drafting guidelines aiming to clarify these issues. Meanwhile, Council Fathers began to challenge the status of the annexes. On 1 October, Felici announced that the text of these was ‘a purely private document’ and therefore not for discussion in aula. This drew immediate opposition from Glorieux leading Felici to clarify that, while the annexes were not ‘merely private,’ they would not have conciliar status.
Yet, while Felici’s hostility to the schema was clear, even the Central Commission was divided over whether the schema should go ahead. Although there was opposition from conservative quarters, historian Norman Tanner notes that others who were nominally progressive also wanted to drop the schema and leave its content for a later papal encyclical.
Perhaps providentially, this caused a delay that meant that the schema on lay apostolate was debated first. This enabled several Fathers to provide context for Schema XIII. On behalf of the Dutch bishops, De Vet emphasised that ‘the world is the proper place for the laity to work in because they are of it.’ Larrain insisted that there must be ‘a real incarnation in the world,’ emphasising the role of lay people in bringing world problems to the Church and taking the Gospel to the world. De Smedt explicitly endorsed the see-judge-act as the best method of formation, albeit for young people.
Finally, on 13 October, Patrick Keegan, who was close to Montini, became the first lay person to address a Council in session, noting that lay people ‘anxiously await the debate on the Church and the world,’ which would have ‘immense implications for the responsible activity of the laity’ in both spiritual and temporal fields.
Despite this support for Schema XIII from the Council floor, several members of the CC still wanted it dropped, eventually requiring the personal intervention of Paul VI, who greenlighted further discussion.
The conciliar debate
After a balanced introduction to the schema by Cento, who spoke on behalf of Ottaviani as joint presidents of the MC, Guano presented a second report emphasising the ‘anguishing problems’ facing people, including starvation and war, that were also uppermost in the minds of many Fathers, particularly from the developing world. The originality of the schema lay in the fact that it ‘did not seek to proclaim what the Church thinks of Divine Revelation, but to enable a closer dialogue with people, taking account of their concrete conditions of life and their mentalities,’ Guano explained. Hence, the need for a new ‘style’ of schema.
The objective was to build dialogue with all people in order to understand the conditions and problems of the world (see), to explain the Church’s thought regarding these issues (judge), and to show how the Church planned to participate in the process of finding a solution to these issues (act). Naturally, this would always be inspired by the Church’s mission to announce Christ and its contribution would always be in the light of the Gospel, he added to please Suenens.
Predictably, Liénart took the floor for the first intervention on the schema, welcoming it as ‘unique in the history of ecumenical councils,’ although he was critical of the text, which needed to express more clearly its ‘esteem for the natural order.’  Seven more cardinals spoke, all of whom backed the schema, except Ruffini, who pointedly noted that it required the faithful ‘to show proof of understanding and prudence in order to enlighten their consciences,’ which smacked of ‘situational morality.’
Suenens also supported the schema provided that it offered an ‘ecclesial response’ founded on its own proper mission and ‘in the field of its competency.’ It could only base itself in part on ‘the wavelength of the world’ although it needed to ‘respect the autonomy of the world.’ Moreover, while it was right to ‘make the world more human,’ it was necessary to heed Pius XI’s warning that ‘the Church civilises by evangelising and does not evangelise by civilising.’ Once again, Suenens summarised his arguments against the Cardijn method, albeit seemingly resigned to the fact that he had lost this battle. More positively, he proposed that several ‘excellent’ aspects of the annexes should be included in the schema itself.
Among the other bishops, rising star and young Polish archbishop, Karol Wojtyla, a phenomenological philosopher close to Cardijn, criticised the document for its ‘authoritarian’ tone, emphasising that it should not try ‘to teach non-believers’ but should aim ‘to search together along with the world.’ Another Jocist archbishop, Arthur Elchinger of Strasbourg, structured his speech in a see-judge-act format concluding with shades of Ollé-Laprune that the Church’s mission was to ‘fight to save human life in the world today, to save what is human in man.’ These problems needed to be dealt with not with ‘the reasoning of a teacher but the breath of a prophet.’ In another important intervention, Ancel noted that ‘a grave lacuna’ of the schema was that it failed ‘to show how the Church’s interest in temporal affairs stemmed from its total mission which is evangelisation.’
Of the bishops close to Cardijn, very few opposed the schema. Heenan of Westminster was one, characterising the schema as ‘unworthy of a Council.’ Without the annexes, it would be ‘noxious,’ he said. The document should instead be handed over to a new commission including married couples, doctors, economists and scientists as well as priests with pastoral experience, Heenan proposed. Hurley of Durban joined him, criticising the schema as ‘too theoretical’ for problems that were ‘extremely delicate in practice.’ In other words, the schema did not go far enough in their estimation.
No doubt to the drafters’ relief, the reception in aula was positive overall. The document had clearly piqued the interest of the Fathers who submitted 800 typewritten pages of observations and suggestions. Concluding the debate, Guano welcomed the idea that the schema should begin with a description of the world today, confirming the direction that the schema would take.
The Signs of the Times Sub-Commission
Meanwhile, the STSC met regularly to implement its mission of studying world realities, recording its deliberations in a 90-page report. An initial discussion clarified its understanding of ‘signs of the times’ as ‘the phenomena which, by their generalisation and great frequency, characterise an epoch and by which the needs and aspirations of humanity are made known.’
The objective of the work then was to ‘discover these trends, through the present realities of humanity in the diversity of its situations,’ which was done through a series of exposés from the various continents. Subjects covered included: changes in humanity, Latin America, the socialist and communist worlds, India, black Africa, the Muslim world and international institutions, although the Commission recognised that this was ‘not a complete inventory.’ Sub-groups were created to study each area.
Among the various signs, Lebret noted the desire of the African to become ‘more human, freer, more responsible.’ He was also ‘conscious of his potentialities,’ he added, echoing the Sillon definition of democracy. Another Jocist archbishop, Eugene D’Souza of India emphasised the role of the Church in promoting women, in the slow disappearance of polygamy, raising awareness of the ‘dignity of the citizen’ and a certain form of democracy. Regarding Latin America, McGrath warned that many were ‘despairing of obtaining justice’ and were looking towards violence. While Catholics refused violence, they did not always propose alternatives, he lamented.
The document distinguished three stages among the signs that it observed:
1. The brute facts that are observed sociologically and phenomenologically.
2. The voice of God in history as evidenced in ‘historic facts’ that in themselves bore testimony.
3. Situating those facts within the history of salvation, particularly by noting frequent and generalised phenomena.
Drawing on the above and his book, L’Eglise et le monde, Houtart drafted a document for the STSC entitled ‘Les signes des temps dans l’humanité d’aujourd’hui,’ which would become the basis of the eventual ‘Introductory statement on the human condition in the world of today’ in Gaudium et Spes.
Although the STSC was keenly aware of its limitations, including the lack of representation from outside Europe, the final document displayed a remarkable familiarity with the issues of the time as well as a breadth of view that would later be reflected in the introduction to Schema XIII.
The Schema XIII Sub-Commissions
Fortified in their mission, the Mixed Commission met again on 16 November mandating the CSC to continue with eight additional members appointed from the DC and LAC (Jocist bishops in bold):
DC: Garrone, Seper, Poma, and the Benedictine Abbot Butler
LAC: Morris, Larrain, St Laszlo, Fernandez-Conde.
Also invited to collaborate although they were not members of either the DC or LAC were: Fernandez (India), Satoshi Nagae (Japan), Zoa (Cameroon), Gonzalez-Moralejo (Spain), Wojtyla (Poland), Edelby (Syria) and Quadri.
Once again, these new participants reinforced the Jocist stranglehold over the schema. Garrone, who was made president of the TSC, had effectively neutralised Suenens’ control over the doctrinal orientation, although Philips, the new secretary fresh from his triumph in the drafting of Lumen Gentium, was no doubt appointed to keep him onside.
Bishops: Garrone (president), Poma, Wojtyla, Gonzalez-Moralejo
Periti: Philips (secretary), Glorieux, Ferrari Toniolo, Moeller, Benoit, Congar, Daniélou, Rigaux, K. Rahner
Lay auditor: Sugranyes de Franch.
In the STSC, at least eight out of the eleven bishops had Jocist experience, as did many of the periti.
Signs of the Times (STSC)
Bishops: McGrath (president), Blomjous, Zoa (Africa), D’Souza (India), Nagae (Japan), Ayoub (Syria), Camara (Brazil), Wright (USA), Wojtyla (Poland), Ancel, Ménager (France).
Periti: Delhaye, Daniélou, Gagnebet, Lebret, Tucci, Ligutti, Houtart, de Riedmatten, Joblin, Lebret, Caramuru, Gregory (Brazil), Galiléa, Medina (Chile), Dingemans, Gagnebet, Greco, Martelet, Neuner et Putz.
Lay auditors: de Habicht, Norris, Ruszkowski, Smitskowski, Sugranyes de Franch.
Secretaries: Delhaye, Houtart.
Finally, the thematic sub-commissions working on the annexes also all included a majority of Jocist-linked bishops:
De persona humana in societate
Roy, Garrone, Wright, Araujo Sales, Laszlo
De matrimonio et familia
Dearden, Scherer, Van Dodewaard, Castellano, Heuschen
Léger, Charue, Doumith, Yu Pin, Larrain, De Vet, Guano
De ordine oeconomico
Hengsbach, Ancel, Camara, Blomjous, Ménager
De communitate gentium
König, Seper, Schröffer, McGrath, Kominek
Little more than a year after Suenens’ Malines meeting, it was a breathtaking turnaround wrought by men who were deeply familiar with the Jocist system, which had almost become second nature to them, a point of deep significance for the final drafts of Schema XIII.
Adoption of the see-judge-act
Next, the MC and the CSC met on 17, 19 and 20 November to settle the principles for the final drafts with the new text based on both the Zurich Draft (dialogue approach) AND conciliar discussion. Orientations from other conciliar documents were also to be considered, including on ecumenism, religious freedom, lay apostolate and attention to non-Christians. The whole was to be ‘as homogeneous as possible’ requiring ‘EDITORIAL UNITY.’
Secondly, the role of the various sub-commissions was clarified. The STSC was tasked with preparing a completely new ‘conspectus generalis mundi hodierni,’ i.e. ‘a general appreciation of the world today,’ which would comprise the introduction to the schema. The TSC was given responsibility for both the specifically theological chapters and the overall doctrinal orientation of the document.
Third, the ‘other sub-commissions’ were mandated to redraft their specific chapters, while the annexes were to be maintained (although their status was not defined).
Fourth, each sub-commission was to carry out its work based ‘as far as possible’ on the see-judge-act method, expressed as follows:
– Start from the facts;
– Offer a Christian judgement in the light of the Gospel and the Catholic tradition, from the Fathers of the Church to the contemporary magisterium;
– Indicate concrete action orientations (pastoral aspect).
Finally, a drafting team was appointed comprising Hirschmann, Moeller, Tucci and Haubtmann, who was team leader and editor (rédacteur) while Häring and Philips were named as collaborators.
This set the stage for several months of intense work on a tight schedule to be ready for the final session in 1965.
Towards the Ariccia Draft
In his first book, Marx et Proudhon, published in 1947, Pierre Haubtmann had already noted that unlike Hegel’s dialectic, Proudhon’s dialectical movement was based on the ‘distinction between good and evil.’ Most often, [the Proudhonian dialectic] expressed itself in the antagonism of the thesis and antithesis,’ both of which existed ‘simultaneously’ and were ‘indestructible,’ Haubtmann explained. The object was therefore to bring them into ‘balance,’ which was ‘the proper function of man.’
Significantly, the Proudhonian movement also ‘started from below whereas with Hegel it began from above – which led Proudhon to say, wrongly or rightly, that the Hegelian dialectic necessarily leads to statism or absolutism.’ Hence the need to start from reality rather than doctrine and work to reconcile them, as Cardijn, Haubtmann and the Jocist network interpreted Proudhon.
With his long experience of the Jocist method and his scholarly understanding of its theoretical foundations, Haubtmann thus emerged as the ideal person to shepherd the schema to completion.
The task ahead
The Third Session closed on 21 November, one day after the CSC had finished its meeting, coinciding with the momentous ‘Black Week’ when Pope Paul intervened on various issues and postponed the vote on the schema on religious liberty. In his closing address, Paul VI also announced that the Fourth Session would certainly be the last one, adding to the pressure. Yet, he also clearly intimated the need for the Church ‘to radiate attractive light on the secular world,’ another signal that he wanted Schema XIII to come to fruition.
Nevertheless, challenges remained. On 30 December, the CC moved forward the date for submission of the revised text, further ramping up the pressure. On the positive side, however, it allowed more time during the Fourth Session to debate the new text and agreed that the revised draft could include the material from the annexes.
Members of the drafting team also met together formally and informally during December 1964 and January 1965 to clarify several recurring questions. ‘Should the document be based on theology, natural law, philosophy or description of facts?’ as Moeller put it. ‘Who was speaking? The hierarchy? Christians? The People of God? And who is being addressed?’
But Philips remained negative about the agreed method of work. ‘Regarding the description of the world, he emphasised that there is no such thing as an objective, factual description. There is always a criterion, a fundamental interpretation,’ Moeller quoted him as saying. On the other hand, he agreed that the Church was not ‘in face of’ the world but genuinely in the world, a key point.
By January, though, it was concluded that the Church should be presented as the People of God. Christians needed to be treated as adults, requiring an emphasis on human dignity, respect, freedom, autonomy and the participation of all. Thus, the schema was to be drafted as ‘Christians speaking to the world,’ i.e. as actors and participants, and not ‘about the world’ as external observers. In relation to the signs of the times, Council Fathers wanted facts to be mentioned although (some) theologians were reserved. An overly ‘sociological’ outlook needed to be avoided so facts needed to be presented in relation to ‘ethical demands and moral discovery.’
On this basis, Haubtmann set to work to prepare a new draft (in French), which would include the former annexes as Part II, while Part I would be based on the work of the Doctrinal and Signs of the Times Commissions plus the conciliar discussion, with each part drafted as far as possible in a tripartite see-judge-act format. The outcome was a new plan:
Chapter I – General overview: Highlighting ‘several aspects that… seemed to more profoundly affect our epoch and announce the future’
Chapter II – Man in the universe: ‘Enlighten(ing) this situation in the light of the Revelation’: What is God’s plan for the universe? What is man’s role in his situation? How to develop the human personality in an increasingly socialised society?
Chapter III – Man in society: Answering how the Church intervened in all these problems.
Part II: The aim of which was ‘to attract the attention of the faithful and any others willing to listen to the Church on several very concrete, current issues’:
Chapter I – Human dignity
Chapter II – Marriage and the family
Chapter III – The development of culture
Chapter IV – Socio-economic life
Chapter V – Political and international life
Chapter VI – The very peace of the world
Although Philips advised that the new Part I should be based on the Zurich Draft, Haubtmann concluded that this was impossible given the number of amendments. Thus, drawing on the material, including especially the report compiled by the STSC,  he compiled a completely new 9,000-word first draft. Far from perfect, it was a breath of fresh air compared to the earlier drafts, which now seemed lugubrious, albeit perhaps still very French in its outlook. 
Haubtmann’s long experience of working with lay leaders of various ages and milieux from local to national level shone through. The biblical quotes, mostly from the New Testament, seemed perfectly appropriate and effortlessly chosen, as indeed they probably were for a priest who had spent decades with grassroots study groups. So too were the references to dignity, freedom, participation, etc.
Particularly characteristic of Haubtmann’s Proudhonian style was the introduction, drafted jointly with Moeller, with its multiple dialectical references: joys and sadness, hopes and anguish, individual and collective, Catholics and non-believers, Church and world, Creation and Resurrection (Redemption).
Strikingly, the text stated that it was ‘desirable for lay people, even more than in the past, to take part even in developing the orientations and opportune directives’ for the implementation of the ‘Church’s teaching on social issues,’ a formula that Haubtmann (and Chenu) preferred to that of ‘Church (or Catholic) social teaching.’
Another audacious paragraph stated that it was necessary ‘to tend to develop among all people, each one according to his state and means, a greater sense of their responsibilities,’ which the Haubtmann text explicitly linked to ‘the modern aspiration to democratic forms of life,’ in an overt attempt to incorporate the Sillon definition of democracy in the schema. Although the explicit reference to ‘democracy’ was dropped, multiple references to the Sillonist conscience/responsabilité binomial survived to the point that conscience/consciousness and responsibility, as well as participation, would become key terms in Gaudium et Spes.
Congar praised the Haubtmann text as clearly better than the Zurich Draft. ‘IT HAS FOUND THE RIGHT TONE, and that is half the battle,’ he wrote. Nevertheless, he felt Haubtmann’s work was a ‘little light’ and over-influenced by his ACO background.
However, Congar was correct that Haubtmann’s text did not follow a strict see-judge-act format. Rather it was organised as a dialectical reflection between, on one hand, the reality as revealed in the General Overview in Chapter I, and, on the other hand, the ‘truths’ and ‘principles’ of the ‘Church’s teaching on social issues’ as interpreted in Chapters II and III. On the other hand, the thematic chapters comprising Part II of the document did explicitly follow the see-judge-act format. Simply put, in Haubtmann’s schema, Cardijn’s ‘truth of method’ in Part II resolved the contradiction between the ‘truth of reality’ in Chapter I and the ‘truth of faith’ in Chapters II and III.
This gave the new draft its overall ‘framework,’ which, as Garrone later recalled, survived the ‘rude treatment’ and the ‘severe layering’ that it later received.
The Ariccia meeting
Meanwhile, the number of participants for the next CSC meeting in Ariccia, Italy, had swelled to more than one hundred bishops, periti and auditors, including Keegan and his close collaborator, Msgr Derek Worlock, Houtart, Dondeyne, plus the lay auditors Vanistendael, Monnet and others, who were close to the JOC and SCA movements. Like Congar, the meeting agreed that ‘the style of the document under examination was at last just what was needed.’ Nevertheless, multiple changes were proposed.
One significant structural change came from the Theological Sub-Commission, which proposed to insert a new first ‘doctrinal’ chapter on human activity in the world, and to reverse the order of the chapters on Man in the universe and Man in society.  As Moeller explained, this meant that a total view would progressively be obtained: man, society, world. This also had the effect of restoring the Liénart-(and Cardijn-) inspired reflection on ‘the dignity of man,’ which became the first chapter in Part I.
Secondly, Wojtyla, on behalf of the Polish bishops, proposed another completely new draft that heavily emphasised the role of the Church. This was ruled out of order although Garrone, who chaired the meeting, sought to accommodate Wojtyla’s proposals within the Haubtmann framework.
This, and other criticisms, resulted in the addition of a fourth chapter in Part I on the role of the Church in the world. In turn, this opened the way for a final direct reference to the fact that ‘secular duties and activities belong properly although not exclusively to lay people’ (Gaudium et Spes §43) although it was again balanced by the need to be ‘witnesses to Christ in all things.’
The upshot was that Part I now followed a logical sequence:
Chapter I: Anthropological
Chapter II: Sociological
Chapter III: Cosmological
Chapter IV: Ecclesiological
Further meetings of the drafting and editorial committees continued in Rome throughout February and March, with a draft ready to be printed on 24 March for presentation to the MC at its meeting from 29 March – 8 April 1965 with the title ‘Schema XIII: Constitutio pastoralis De Ecclesia in mundo huius temporis,’ the formal title by which it would finally be adopted.
As Moeller noted, the March-April MC meeting was ‘completely dominated by the personality of Philips’ in a last-ditch effort defending the Suenens line. Although it had been determined that the schema would open with a presentation of the situation of the world, Philips sought to downplay its significance. He proposed to characterise the description of the world as an ‘Introductory statement’ rather than a formal chapter. This was because ‘of course the Council cannot commit its authority in the description of facts which in twenty or thirty years may be quite different.’
As always, it was the ‘ecclesiological’ viewpoint that prevailed for Philips. Here it is instructive to compare the way the Haubtmann text was revised in light of the Ariccia meeting and the Philips revision. On one hand, the Haubtmann-Ariccia text (§54) opened with a description of the role of the Church as ‘the messianic People of God,’ which was ‘actively present in the world’ through ‘those lay people, who taking seriously their earthly tasks, endeavour to accomplish them in intimate union with Christ and his Church.’ On the other hand, the Philips’ revised text started from a much more Church-centred point of view, emphasising ‘witness to the mystery of the death and resurrection of the Lord in the face of the world,’ albeit recognising that this occurs in ‘different manners for lay people and pastors.
Similarly, Haubtmann-Ariccia noted that where various solutions were ‘equally compatible with Christian faith and morals are available,’ lay people ‘guided by Christian prudence’ would ‘act according to the judgement of their consciences, formed in advance,’ in a clear reference to the see-judge-act method.
In contrast, the Philips’ revision dropped this reference, substituting the need for ‘mediation by Christian consciences, formed in advance, that the priest has not to direct and dictate in these fields, but to enlighten and animate.’ Thus, while both versions recognised the need for lay people to act on their own initiative without engaging the authority of the Church, the Philips’ text centred more on the role of the priest as animator.
Although Paul VI had offered several assurances to Haubtmann, opposition to the schema continued from several quarters in the Doctrinal Commission, particularly those linked to the Holy Office. Rumours abounded that the schema might be cancelled, downgraded from a Pastoral Constitution, or left to a post-conciliar commission. Felici remained critical and had written to Paul VI outlining his objections. Plus, there was growing unease about the schema among the German bishops. Within the MC, controversy continued to rage regarding the positions to adopt on atheism, contraception (birth control), the arms race, etc.
In these circumstances, the support of Philips – and Suenens – was perceived as indispensable to the passage of Schema XIII. And there was no denying the skill and dedication that Philips brought to the task, including his mastery of Latin, which was greatly appreciated by an overworked Haubtmann. The truth was that both men, from their respective points of view and sometimes perhaps even against their personal views, were endeavouring to achieve a schema acceptable to the Council Fathers.
The outcome was that on 29 April Haubtmann visited Suenens to ensure his backing at the forthcoming Central Commission meeting on 11 May, where it was agreed that the text could be sent to the Fathers in both French and Latin in preparation for the Fourth Session.
On 20 May, however, Paul VI asked Haubtmann to delay sending the French version to make clear that it had no official value, an act that some supporters of Schema XIII interpreted as a weakening of the pope’s resolve. Meanwhile, Guano had fallen ill with hepatitis, which would force him to step down as president of the CSC, adding further uncertainty.
Congar contacts Cardijn
This was the context in which Cardijn, who had received his red hat on 22 February 1965, finally entered the Schema XIII scene in his new role. Although no one said it openly, it was clear that one reason for Cardijn’s elevation was to place him on equal footing with Suenens – to free him from the latter’s hierarchical authority and to add authority to the Jocist line in the conciliar schemas. Indeed, Cardijn had told Congar that he intended to make good use of his new position.
On July 11, as concerns over Schema XIII and the schema on religious liberty began to rise, Congar took him up on this, suggesting that Cardijn should prepare interventions for the Fourth Session on religious liberty and on Schema XIII. ‘I ask myself,’ Congar wrote concerning the latter, ‘whether in the presentation of the meaning of the world with respect to Christ and eschatology, and in the chapter on culture, enough space has been given to workers, to the immense enterprise of production by the hands and spirit of man.’
By this time, Cardijn had received a copy of Part I of the post-Ariccia text from Glorieux. But he had not been appointed to any conciliar commission. Indeed, he had found himself in a no-man’s land, no longer a peritus, nor really a part of the Belgian bishops’ group, and thus, paradoxically, more marginalised than ever from the mechanics of the Council, even though he had just returned from another audience with Paul VI.
Cardijn jumped at Congar’s proposal, travelling to Voirons, Switzerland from 1-3 August for a working weekend with Congar and his Dominican colleague, Henri-Marie Féret, where the three men discussed the contents of Cardijn’s proposed interventions. As Congar noted, Cardijn’s preoccupation, as always, was ‘to start with the real, the concrete.’ Hence, ‘you must take people as they are,’ Cardijn told him, criticising the schemas on lay apostolate, the missions, and Schema XIII for their failures in this regard.
Over the following days, working from Cardijn’s notes, Congar prepared a Latin draft of a text on religious liberty while Féret drafted a ‘hard-hitting’ paper on Schema XIII. In addition, Cardijn sought the views of Dondeyne and De Smedt, particularly on religious liberty.
The Fourth Session
Preparing for the discussion on Schema XIII
The Fourth Session opened on 14 September with Cardijn present as a Council Father but still on the outer. ‘He knew nothing, had seen nobody, had not been involved in anything,’ Congar lamented after meeting him. Nevertheless, his interventions were ready ‘to deliver a few good punches.’ Meanwhile, critical events were unfolding in relation to Schema XIII, which had been translated into English, German, Spanish and Italian in addition to the ‘original’ French and the ‘official’ Latin.
Replacing Guano, Garrone was now appointed as rapporteur ‘according to the express wish of Paul VI.’ Given Garrone’s history of conflict with Suenens, this was far from an innocuous decision by the Pope, again telegraphing his support for the Haubtmann line.
This pontifical backing for Garrone was undoubtedly an important factor in a special meeting organised by Elchinger to resolve the tensions between French and German bishops over Schema XIII. Here, the Germans (Volk, Reuss and Hengsbach) reiterated many of their objections to Part I of the schema, including over its doctrines on man and the world, sin, man’s historical and temporal character, as well as ‘naturalism, optimism and oversimplification of some problems,’ ‘insufficient distinction between principles and practical prescriptions,’ etc. They also expressed ‘grave doubts’ as to whether it was ‘opportune’ to give the schema the title of ‘Pastoral Constitution.’
In reply, the French and Belgian bishops present (Ancel, Garrone, Elchinger and Musty) defended the schema in Jocist terms. According to Garrone, the aim was ‘to apply a doctrine of man to the problems of the world,’ so that ‘the light of faith may become effective for the study of certain very serious problems.’
Haubtmann highlighted the excellent reception it had received from lay people and the fact that 70 percent of the Fathers had called for a text that started from ‘truths common to all, not the natural order… but the biblical presentation of those truths common to all, so that gradually they could move forward to the more profoundly Christian truths.’
Perhaps decisively, Philips too defended the schema, recalling what a ‘novel’ venture it was and warning of the danger of being left empty-handed if it was not accepted at least as a working document. It was ‘extremely difficult… to speak the language of the Church yet in such a way that those who heard could understand and feel that the Church understands their problems,’ he noted.
Moreover, ‘the method’ was ‘pedagogical,’ Philips explained in a clear reference to the schema’s Jocist basis. This was a major concession by the Belgian, the significance of which cannot have escaped Hengsbach, particularly, who had lived through the debates of the Second World Congress on Lay Apostolate.
Here the Jocist background of the French bishops proved critical in bringing around their German colleagues, who, while they systematically promoted Specialised Catholic Action throughout their dioceses, mostly lacked personal experience of the Cardijn method.
Synthesising the see-judge-act and Three Truths approaches
The upshot was that agreement was reached ‘to accept the text as a basis for discussion but to improve it.’ Moreover, the theologians most critical of the text were to be added to the sub-commissions that were about to be named.
This, according to Moeller, ‘helped balance the two main tendencies which had stood confronted since the beginning of work on Schema 13: one a concrete outlook marked by a certain fundamental optimism, the other a dialectical attitude insisting on the polyvalency of the world in which the Church lives.’ Clearly, the former outlook applied to the partisans of the see-judge-act approach. Was the latter also a reference to those, who, like Philips, favoured a top-down dialectic? In fact, Moeller seemed to provide the answer in characterising the changes in Schema XIII that would emerge during the Fourth Session:
In consequence [of the synthesising of the two tendencies], the final text no doubt lost a little of its homogeneity, its continuous forward movement, in favour of a presentation which multiplied contrasts. But it gained in wealth of content and complexity. In short, it acquired a more dialectical character, which the Malines Schema had possessed but which had practically disappeared from later versions. 
Although he had never been a JOC chaplain, Moeller, as a Belgian involved in the local Catholic intellectual movement, Pax Romana, where Cardijn was a member of the national executive, was certainly familiar with the see-judge-act and Three Truths frameworks. Philips too understood both these approaches, which had already been in competition during the World Congresses on Lay Apostolate. And, of course, no one understood both the theory and the practice of these better than Pierre Haubtmann.
The conciliar debate opens
Garrone presented his report on the schema on 21 September, highlighting the ‘stronger universal representation’ among the members of the MC and various sub-commissions as well as the collaboration of ‘several prominent laymen, both men and women.’  This increased participation explained the many changes and the greater length of the new text.
This was divided simply into two parts plus a ‘descriptive introduction.’ However, its subject matter was ‘dangerously complex’ and the fact that the document was addressed to various categories of people only added to this complexity. The ‘heart’ of the schema concerned ‘man and man’s condition,’ Garrone explained. Thus, Part I intended to explain ‘what the Spirit says to the Church on the condition of man and on where man’s salvation will come from.’ Part II comprised the previous annexes. In considering the schema, however, it was vital to recall the words of Paul VI in Ecclesiam Suam on ‘the necessities and conditions of dialogue.’ ‘These words are our law,’ Garrone concluded.
The debate in aula also began on 21 September. Spellman spoke first, approving the schema. Others too were favourable, but critical. Silva Henriquez called for the removal of the adjective ‘pastoral’ in the title, while Jaeger said it was still too optimistic. Bea complained that the Latin was ‘incomprehensible’ but was also supportive.
Ruffini was far more negative. ‘Too long, obscure… no allusion to immense mass of sins, to the corruption of morals and to all the abominable evils of the modern world,’ he intoned. The schema displayed ‘a Church on its knees asking pardon for its sins.’ ‘Not a word about relativism, indifferentism, or laicism,’ added Siri.
König spoke positively while Döpfner grudgingly admitted it had improved although still failed to distinguish sufficiently between natural and supernatural orders. For the Austrian, Rusch, it remained too philosophical and insufficiently theological and biblical.
According to Sigaud the schema had ‘abandoned scholasticism,’ while its ‘phenomenological’ method had ‘the appearance of Marxist philosophy.’ Yet, the next day, Morcillo of Spain and Kominek of Poland claimed the schema had ‘a whiff of capitalism.’ ‘Not the view of several bosses,’ joked Haubtmann from the sidelines.
The overall tone was positive and the first three days of debate on the schema as a whole ended in ‘an almost unanimous standing vote’ in favour of the document. Henceforth, the structure of the schema was no longer in doubt.
Meanwhile, Cardijn, who had defended the see-judge-act approach in his earlier intervention on religious freedom, launched the discussion on the Prooemium and the Introductory Statement. This ‘Pastoral Constitution’ is ‘worthy of the greatest praise,’ he began. Since the schema aimed ‘to bring light to all people of our time,’ it must consider those people ‘not just generally but as they live concretely in the world today.’ Hence, the need to add three sections to the schema dealing specifically with young people, workers and the peoples of the Third World.
The Council must not ‘abandon’ young people. Rather it should address a special message to them, expressing its confidence and encouraging them ‘to become conscious of their responsibilities with respect to our era and that of the future in their various milieux.’ Similarly, the Church must do everything for the ‘young peoples’ of the Third World. While ‘deeply respecting their own character,’ the ‘faithful of the old Christian nations must… help relieve the suffering, the present misery and anguish of the Third World.’
‘What these young nations require more than anything is fraternal education that will enable them to take in hand themselves the cause of their human and divine development,’ Cardijn argued.
Although he was ‘heartily applauded,’ the reaction of observers was mitigated. Deaf, he exceeded his time limit after failing to hear the warning bell. Congar too was disappointed with Cardijn’s ‘tribune’-like delivery. ‘People were sympathetic but it did not work,’ he noted. ‘It had no impact and people were gently critical.’ Even de Lubac joked about Cardijn’s Latin neologisms, including ‘juvenes abandonnati’ or abandoned youth.
French bishop Georges Béjot thought Cardijn’s style did not suit the audience. Thus ‘his interventions had no effect when he warned them, in his own way, against the dechristianisation of these young workers.’ In any event, the final Constitution did contain more than a dozen references to young people, albeit not to young workers, giving Cardijn at least a partial victory.
Meanwhile, undaunted, Cardijn followed up on 5 October in the discussion on Part II, Chapter III on Economic and Social Life, with a second intervention focusing on ‘the sub-human situation of the majority of the working world.’ Wages were often ‘derisory,’ ‘truly human work non-existent,’ trade unions prohibited. ‘All that is contrary to the social teaching of the Church on human work should be considered as a grave sin by Christian communities,’ Cardijn decried. Nor must the Church offer paternalistic solutions. Rather: ‘The Church… must be convinced that workers are and must be their own liberators,’ he insisted.
Having characterised Cardijn’s earlier speech on religious liberty as a Latin ‘disaster,’ Camara felt that this time he had ‘succeeded.’ But Congar remained disappointed. ‘Contrary to what I expected, people give him little credit,’ he concluded. If nothing else, Cardijn’s speeches illustrated the vast gulf between his own starting point in the human condition of the world’s poorest and the theological concerns expressed by Ruffini, Siri, and even the allegedly more progressive German bishops.
The Church reviews its life
It was Elchinger who sought to bridge this gulf in his own intervention, revealingly entitled ‘The Church makes its ‘review of life’ in relation to the world.’ People of today were more responsive to acts than words, he said. Therefore, the Council needed to go beyond ‘general affirmations.’ The schema needed to explain ‘how the Church intended to reform itself in its relations with the world.’ The way to do this was to be Christ’s witnesses ‘not just in spreading his Message, but in adopting his new way of loving people and assisting them concretely,’ Elchinger suggested.
This did not mean trying to offer ‘precise responses to every problem.’ In a new world context where people were seeking greater freedom, bishops and priests needed to ‘loyally begin the search’ with the people, helping indicate ‘the direction’ in which they needed to look. Schema XIII did not aim to provide complete answers but to illustrate the way, the method by which the Church – the People of God – could work together with the world in a ‘new relationship.’
Nothing could be clearer. Whatever the limitations of Cardijn’s speeches, Schema XIII was proposing the adoption of his method understood in its varying forms as see-judge-act, Three Truths dialectic, or review of life.
Final revisions of the schema
Dealing with the amendments
All told there were 160 speeches on Schema XIII while the proposed changes totalled 470 closely-spaced pages. The latter were first considered in the expanded sub-commissions then by the CSC before being passed to the overburdened editorial committee. Philips took on the role of general rapporteur but the work exhausted him and he was forced to abandon the task on 25 October. Meanwhile, the MC met in sixteen sessions to review progress. Everyone was under huge pressure, leading to many typing and printing errors, including ‘serious blunders’ of Latin.
Despite last minute opposition from the Roman theologians, E. Lio and Marie-Rosaire Gagnebet, backed by Ottaviani, Paul VI allowed the chapters of the newly revised schema to go to the vote on 15-17 November. Introducing this, Garrone again presented a general report, McGrath wrote another on the Introductory statement and Hengsbach a third explaining Part II. To the surprise of some, every part of the schema achieved the required two-thirds majority vote.
But further modi were accepted for submission resulting in another 200 pages of proposed amendments. More controversy arose over whether to explicitly condemn communism, which was not done, over birth control, and over the possession of nuclear weapons, which was not specifically condemned.
Cardijn too submitted several modi, developing the themes of his speeches although it is almost impossible to determine their influence amid so many others. Nevertheless, the final text of Gaudium et Spes did refer in ten places to young people, albeit not always in terms Cardijn would have liked, e.g. ‘the young ought to listen gladly’ (§52).
On the other hand, references to workers being ‘reduced to the level of being slaves’ and the need for ‘the defence of workers’ rights’ (§67) were more positive. Similarly, the final text made nine references to ‘developing nations,’ fulfilling Cardijn’s desire on this point. Moreover, Ralph Wiltgen credited Cardijn, along with Hengsbach, as having influenced the final messages of the Council which were read out on 8 December.
In addition, Cardijn signed an amendment to §42 of the schema (§44 in the final text) proposed by Wojtyla. This paragraph concerned ‘the aid which the Church receives from the world today.’ Wojtyla’s concern was to give more emphasis to the fundamental importance of ‘cultural development,’ and thus to highlight the fact that man’s relationship with the affairs of the world depends on the full development of his personality. Although backed by Journet and others, even this amendment did not make the final cut of the future Gaudium et Spes.
Cardijn also put his name to another more successful amendment to §30 (§29 in final version) on the ‘essential equality of all people’ and §71 (§73) on ‘the life of the political community’. Here, the objective was to emphasise protection of minority rights including language, an item of particular interest to the Flemish Cardijn. But these were minor matters.
By now, Cardijn had abandoned his bid to link the schema more closely to the lay apostolate beyond the reference in §43 although a theology of work had been added at Ariccia on ‘Man’s activity in the world.’ More importantly, Lumen Gentium and Apostolicam Actuositatem had been adopted and promulgated, meaning that Gaudium et Spes was to be read in the light of the theology of the lay apostolate they both expressed.
The final voting
Work on the final amendments, of which there were 20,000, continued feverishly until 29 November, the deadline for printing the compiled final text together with explanatory that was to be voted on. The Council approved each section of the 411-page document in a series of votes on 4 December. Two days later, the Council voted on the schema as a whole, approving it by a vote of 2111 placet, 251 non placet, and 11 null votes, representing 2373 voters.
There was still one final step whereby the definitive schema was submitted for approval by the Council Fathers on 7 December. This time 2309 voted in favour with 75 against and 7 null votes out of 2391 voters. The same day Paul VI promulgated it as The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the world of this time, Gaudium et Spes, the final document of Vatican II.
As Tucci rightly pointed out, the Council ‘in no way intended to finish the search but rather to preview and stimulate it, fixing the point of departure for a fruitful dialogue.’ Moreover, it was a ‘positive fact’ that the Church accepted to content itself with imperfection, or in other words, ‘to trust in the future with humble confidence in God and in man, his image.’ Cardijn could hardly have put it better himself.
The Cardijn dialectic in Gaudium et Spes
Despite the many conflicts and huge number of amendments, the structure of Schema XIII proposed at Ariccia and slightly modified by Philips had emerged intact.
Preface: The joys and hopes, the griefs and sorrows.
Intro: The situation of people in the world, based on the conspectus prepared by the Signs of the Times Sub-Commission (STSC)
Part I: The Church and the human vocation, based on the Zurich Draft (TSC)
Part II: Five see-judge-act chapters, based on the Annexes (Thematic Sub-Comms)
As we have seen, the drafters, since Ancel at least, had clearly envisaged the schema in terms of a dialectic or dialogue between the world situation (Introduction) and the Catholic understanding of the human vocation and destiny (Part I), as the eventual opening phrases of the schema elegantly illustrate: ‘The joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the men of this age…’ In addition, the third section (Part II) offered practical see-judge-act reflections on five key areas of modern life.
In Jocist terms, Gaudium et Spes thus emerged with the structure of Cardijn’s Proudhonian dialectic:
Truth of Reality (Antithesis): The situation of people in the world
Truth of Faith (Thesis): The Church and the human vocation and destiny
Truth of Method (Synthesis): See-judge-act reflections on family, culture, economic and social life, political life, peace and international life
As Haubtmann had indicated, it began ‘bottom up’ with the antithesis to emphasise the existential dimension of the world ‘situation’ and the ‘call’ that it evoked before setting out the thesis proposed by the Church with which it needed to be reconciled. Finally, the see-judge-act chapters in Part II illustrated the method for resolving the dialectical tension that is a permanent feature of the human condition.
Nor is there any doubt that the architects of the schema, including Ancel, Ménager, Garrone, Haubtmann, Philips and even Suenens were perfectly aware of this. Just as he had transformed the Sillon’s method of democratic education into the see-judge-act, so he had transformed Proudhon’s serial dialectic into his own ‘Christian dialectic’: The Truth of Reality of the human condition, the Truth of Faith of the dignity of man created in the image of God, and the Truth of Method understood as the see-judge-act.
Despite his absence from the drafting process, the Jocist bishops and periti – writing straight with crooked lines, in a sense – had caused Cardijn’s dialectic to emerge as the foundation of the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes.
Deepening the furrow
Of those who participated in the drafting, perhaps the best appreciation of Gaudium et Spes from a Jocist viewpoint came from Marcos McGrath who noted that the first ‘exceptional’ aspect of Gaudium et Spes was that it was addressed to ‘the whole of humanity,’ something no other Council and only one encyclical, John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris, had ever done. Indeed, a similarly audacious ‘appeal to all the heterodox’ had provided one of the reasons for Pius X’s ‘condemnation’ of the Sillon.
Secondly, the formal title of Gaudium et Spes, De Ecclesia in mundo hujus temporis, was incorrectly translated as ‘Church in the modern world’ as if the document sought to address a specific historical period. Rather, the correct translation was The Church in the world of today, reflecting ‘the currency’ (actualité) or ‘existential dimension of the document’s approach,’ McGrath emphasised – or the biblical theme of kairos, the opportune moment, as Moeller also put it.
Even more fundamental, according to McGrath, was the way Gaudium et Spes expressed itself systematically on ‘the directly temporal aspects of Christian life’ – despite the objections of ‘traditionalists’ and even ‘progressive theologians’ like Philips. Yet this clash between ‘an exclusively doctrinal’ approach and one that ‘started from the problems of the world’ had ultimately proved fruitful, McGrath noted, leading to the ‘invention of a new method’ that slowly developed during the Council.
Although this ‘simultaneously empirical and theological’ method was only imperfectly applied in Part II of the Constitution, this did not matter because it ‘had made a good start,’ modestly opening up ‘this new form of dialogue.’ Henceforth, concluded McGrath, whose Holy Cross Fathers (CSC) congregation had once worked closely with Marc Sangnier’s movement, it was up to ‘the faithful of whole world, guided by their pastors, to deepen the furrow’ – or, in his allusive French phrase, ‘creuser le sillon.’
Footnotes to be added.