Catholic Action is the name of groups of lay Catholics who advocate for increased Catholic influence on society. They were especially active in the nineteenth century in historically Catholic countries under anti-clerical regimes such as Spain, Italy, Bavaria, France, and Belgium.
In 1934, Adolf Hitler ordered the murder of Erich Klausener, head of a Catholic Action group in Nazi Germany, during the Night of the Long Knives.
Catholic Action is not a political party in and of itself; however, in many times and places, the distinction between a lay organization of the faithful and a political movement has blurred. Since World War II the concept has often been supplanted by Christian Democrat parties that were organised to combat Communist parties and promote Catholic social justice principles in places such as Italy and West Germany.
Catholic Action generally includes various subgroups for youth, women, workers, etc. In the postwar period, the various national Catholic Action organizations for workers formed the World Movement of Christian Workers, which remains active today as a voice within the Church and in society for working class Catholics.
The Catholic Action movement has its beginnings in the latter part of the 19th century as efforts to counteract a rise in anti-clerical sentiment, especially in Europe.
A variety of diverse groups formed under the concept of Catholic Action. These include the Young Christian Workers, the Young Christian Students; the Cursillo movement, RENEW International; the Legion of Mary; Sodalities; the Christian Family Movement; various community organizing groups like COPS (Communities Organized for Public Service) in San Antonio, and Friendship House in Harlem, an early influence on Thomas Merton.
Around 1912, as a curate in a parish in Laeken, on the outskirts of Brussels, Joseph Cardijn, who dedicated his ministry to aid the working class, founded for the young seamstresses a branch of the Needleworkers' Trade Union.In 1919 he founded the Young Trade Unionists. In 1924, the name of the organization was changed to "Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne", the Young Christian Workers. JOC grew throughout the world; its members were often known as "Jocists" (the movement was often called "Jocism"). By 1938, there were 500,000 members throughout Europe; in 1967, this had increased to 2,000,000 members in 69 countries.
A fruit of the contemporary Catholic Action movement, the International Catholic Union of the Press UCIP was founded in Belgium in 1927. A year later, the Organization Catholique Internationale du Cinéma (OCIC) was founded in The Netherlands, and the Bureau Catholic International de Radiodiffusion (BCIR), in Germany. It became Unda in 1946. Members of these professional Catholic lay associations, working in the world of the professional media, wanted to unite their efforts against the perceived secularization of society. On the one hand, they believed that the press and the new media of radio and cinema were contributing to secularization. On the other hand, they participated in the secular media in order to use them as a new means of evangelization. They answered a call from God through the church to evangelize the secular mass media, or at least endow them with Gospel values. As a result of the merger of the Catholic media organizations OCIC and Unda, a new organisation was founded in 2001 in Rome called SIGNIS. [ citation needed ]In 2014 the Holy See suggested that SIGNIS should also integrate the members of the former International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP).
The National Civic Council is an Australian Catholic Action group formed in 1957 out of the Australian Catholic social studies movement under the leadership of B.A. Santamaria. Precursors to the NCC were active in the Australian Labor Party, but were expelled from the party by less conservative members during the 1955 Labor Split. The expelled members of the party went on to form the Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist) and the subsequent Democratic Labor Party.
In Chile, Catholic Action was the name of a nationwide youth movement. Under the aegis of Saint Alberto Hurtado it was responsible for the founding of the Chilean Trade Union Association.
Azione Cattolica is probably the most active Catholic Action group still around today. Catholic Action was particularly well suited to Italy where Catholic party political action was impractical, firstly under the Anti-Clerical Savoyard regime from 1870 until about 1910and later under the Fascist regime which prohibited independent political parties.
The present association Azione Cattolica was founded in 1867 by Mario Fani and Giovanni Acquaderni with the name of Società della Gioventù Cattolica Italiana (Italian Catholic Youth Society), then reformed during the Mussolini regime when the association was structured into 4 sectors and was called Azione Cattolica.
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Catholic Action was organised in many other countries, including:
Media related to Catholic Action at Wikimedia Commons
In politics, integralism, integrationism or integrism is the principle that the Catholic faith should be the basis of public law and public policy within civil society, wherever the preponderance of Catholics within that society makes this possible. Integralists uphold the 1864 definition of Pope Pius IX in Quanta cura that the religious neutrality of the civil power cannot be embraced as an ideal situation and the doctrine of Leo XIII in Immortale Dei on the religious obligations of states.
Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in 19th-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching and neo-Calvinism.
Clerical fascism is an ideology that combines the political and economic doctrines of fascism with clericalism. The term has been used to describe organizations and movements that combine religious elements with fascism, receive support from religious organizations which espouse sympathy for fascism, or fascist regimes in which clergy play a leading role.
Luigi Giovanni Giussani was an Italian Catholic priest, theologian, educator, public intellectual, and founder of the international Catholic movement Communion and Liberation. His cause for canonization was opened in 2012.
The Catholic Church and politics concerns the interplay of Catholicism with religious, and later secular, politics. Historically, the Church opposed liberal ideas such as democracy, freedom of speech, and the separation of church and state under the grounds that "error has no rights". It eventually accommodated these ideas and began to view religious liberty as a positive value during and after the Second Vatican Council.
The Young Christian Workers is an international organization founded by Rev. Joseph Cardijn in Belgium as the Young Trade Unionists; the organization adopted its present name in 1924. Its French acronym, JOC, gave rise to the then widely used terms Jocism and Jocist. In 1925, the JOC received Papal approbation, and in 1926 spread to France and eventually to 48 countries.
The Azione Cattolica Italiana, or Azione Cattolica for short, is a widespread Roman Catholic lay association in Italy.
The Italian Catholic Church, or Catholic Church in Italy, is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in communion with the Pope in Rome, under the Conference of Italian Bishops. The pope serves also as Primate of Italy and Bishop of Rome. In addition to Italy, two other sovereign nations are included in Italian-based dioceses: San Marino and the Vatican City. There are 225 dioceses in the Catholic Church in Italy, see further in this article and in the article List of Catholic dioceses in Italy.
The Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, lists the international associations of the faithful in the Catholic Church that have been granted official recognition. It gives the official name, acronym, date of establishment, history, identity, organization, membership, works, publications, and website of the communities and movements.
La Civiltà Cattolica is a periodical published by the Jesuits in Rome, Italy. It has been published continuously since 1850 and is among the oldest of Catholic Italian periodicals. All of the journal's articles are the collective responsibility of the entire "college" of the magazine's writers even if published under a single author's name. It is the only one to be directly revised by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See and to receive its approval before being published.
A Catholic lay association, also referred to as Catholic Congress, is an association of lay Catholics aiming to discuss certain political or social issues from a Catholic perspective.
Joseph Leo Cardijn was a Belgian Roman Catholic cardinal and the founder of the Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne (JOC) [Young Christian Workers]. Cardijn was best known for his lifelong dedication to social activism and working towards the improvement of the working class; since his ordination he made a particular focus of his life the effort to evangelize and bring the core messages of faith in the Gospel back to the working class, who he believed were neglected. He was not wrong in that assessment since old schoolmates working in the mines and mills believed the Church had abandoned them, which prompted Cardijn to found a social movement dedicated to this task despite the opposition that it faced.
SIGNIS is a Roman Catholic lay ecclesial movement for professionals in the communication media, including press, radio, television, cinema, video, media education, internet, and new technology. It is a non-profit organization with representation from over 100 countries. It was formed in November 2001 by the merger of International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual (OCIC) and International Catholic Association for Radio and Television (Unda). At its World Congress in Quebec in 2017, SIGNIS welcomed also former member organisations of the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP).
Giovanni Minzoni was an Italian anti-fascist Catholic priest who was killed by a fascist squad in 1923.
Vicente Alejandro Guillamón was a Spanish journalist and writer.
Pietro Tacchi Venturi was a Jesuit priest and historian who served as the unofficial liaison between Benito Mussolini, the Fascist leader of Italy from 1922 to 1943, and Popes Pius XI and Pius XII. He was also one of the architects of the 1929 Lateran Treaty, which ended the "Roman Question", and recognized the sovereignty of Vatican City, which made it an actor of international relations. A claimed attempt to assassinate Venturi with a paper knife, one year before the treaty's completion, made headlines around the world. Venturi had begun the process of reconciliation by convincing Mussolini to donate the valuable library of the Palazzo Chigi to the Vatican.
The question of whether Freemasonry is anticlerical is the subject of debate. The Catholic Church has long been an outspoken critic of Freemasonry, and some scholars have often accused the fraternity of anticlericalism. The Catholic Church forbids its members to join any Masonic society under pain of interdiction. Freemasons usually take a diametrically opposite view, stating that there is nothing in Freemasonry that is in any way contrary to Catholicism or any other religious faith.
The World Movement of Christian Workers is the Catholic Church's officially recognized association for Catholic workingmen and women. It is a member organization of Vatican's Conference of International Catholic Organizations. The World Movement of Christian Workers (WMCW/MMTC) does not have individual members but is a federation of various national movements. The affiliate in the United States is the Catholic Labor Network. In the UK, it is the Movement of Christian Workers.
Luigi Viviani was an Italian engineer and soldier, posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valour.