Written by Sherry
Wednesday, 13 May 2009 21:36
Bet you wish that you got to spend Wednesday the way I did: reading a series of famous and obscure late 19th/early 20th century papal encyclicals. All in very small print and written as though paragraph spacing had not yet been invented.
I was trying to trace the slow and somewhat tortured progression of Social Catholicism to Catholic Democracy to Catholic Action to Vatican II!
AU MILIEU DES SOLLICITUDES
GRAVES DE COMMUNI RE
FIN DALLA PRIMA NOSTRA
IL FERMO PROPOSITO
PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS
You can say that again.
Barn-burners all. If any ID readers suffer from insomnia, just drop me a line and I can recommend the perfect encyclical for you.
And with sentiments that range from "the introduction of that most pernicious doctrine which would make of the laity the factor of progress in the Church" (Pius X)
"The time has come when the laity must take their place by the side of their consecrated leaders in the urgent task of bringing the teachings of Christ to those who know Him not. This is the most urgent task facing our laity and the form of Catholic Action closest to the Heart of Christ.
Catholic Action must be more than the simple banding together of the Catholic faithful. Its final end is to win back what has been lost and to make new conquests … to win back men to Christ and to the Church … We want Jesus to reign over the whole world … In your thoughts, your aspirations, your works, place the apostolate – the spread of the Kingdom of Christ – above everything else …
Thus prepared, trained and united, the members of Catholic Action will press forward as apostles into every field of society in all directions, wherever there are souls to conquer for Christ, wherever there is a center or meeting ground of individual or collective life, over which Christ Our Lord must reign …
Catholic Action is the hope of the Church in restoring the Reign of Christ in the world." (Pius XII)
And my favorite:
"The world will either be saved by Catholic Action, well directed and intensely applied, or it will be lost by an atheistic, tyrannical and false bolshevism." – Pope Pius XI
All before 1959.
It is really interesting to be reading all pre-Vatican II documents, to see afresh the breadth of the experience and debate that set the stage for the conciliar debates.