Catholic Action was the name of many groups of lay Catholics who were attempting to encourage a Catholic influence on society.
In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy, usually including any non-ordained members of religious institutes, e.g. a nun or lay brother.
They were especially active in the nineteenth century in historically Catholic countries that fell under anti-clerical regimes such as Spain, Italy, Bavaria, France, and Belgium. 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, although in many times and places this distinction became blurred. Since World War II the concept has often been eclipsed 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.
Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.
Erich Klausener was a German Catholic politician who was killed in the "Night of the Long Knives", a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from 30 June to 2 July 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
Catholic Action generally included 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 highly active today as a voice within the Church and in society for working class Catholics.
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.
The Catholic Action movement had 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 would 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.
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.
Jeunesse Étudiante Chrétienne (JEC) is a worldwide group of young Christian students. The movement also goes by the name YCS in English or JEC in Spanish.
Cursillos in Christianity is an apostolic movement of the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in Majorca, Spain, by a group of laymen in 1944, while they were refining a technique to train pilgrimage Christian leaders.
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 started the "Young Trade Unionists". In 1924, the name of the organization was changed to "Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne", the Young Christian Workers. JOC grew rapidly 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.
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, whom 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.
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) came into being in The Netherlands, and the Bureau Catholic International de Radiodiffusion (BCIR), in Germany. It became Unda in 1946. These professional Catholic lay associations, working in the world of the professional media, wanted to unite their efforts against the secularization of society. On the one hand, they were aware that the press and the new media of radio and cinema were contributing to secularization. On the other hand, they also believed that by engaging in the secular media, they could use them as a new means of evangelization. Efforts had to be made to evangelize the secular mass media, or at least to insert the values of the Gospel into them. 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.In 2014 the Vatican suggested that SIGNIS should also integrate the members of the former International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP), which a few years earlier had lost its recognition by the Holy See as an official Catholic organization.
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.
Catholic Action was organised in many other countries, including:
In politics, integralism or integrism is the set of theoretical concepts and practical policies that advocate a fully integrated social and political order, based on converging patrimonial (inherited) political, cultural, religious, and national traditions of a particular state, or some other political entity. Some forms of integralism are focused on achieving political and social integration, and also national or ethnic unity, while others were more focused on achieving religious and cultural uniformity. In the political and social history of the 19th and 20th centuries, integralism was often related to traditionalist conservatism and similar political movements on the right wing of a political spectrum, but it was also adopted by various centrist movements as a tool of political, national and cultural integration.
The Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell'Antifascismo was the secret police of the Kingdom of Italy, founded in 1927 under the regime of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and during the reign of King Victor Emmanuel III. The OVRA was the Italian precursor of the German Gestapo. Mussolini's secret police were assigned to stop any anti-Fascist activity or sentiment. Approximately 50,000 OVRA agents infiltrated most aspects of domestic life in Italy. The OVRA was headed by Arturo Bocchini.
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, support by religious organizations for fascism, or fascist regimes in which clergy play a leading role.
Luigi Giovanni Giussani was an Italian Catholic priest, theologian, educator, public intellectual, Servant of God and founder of the international Catholic movement Communion and Liberation.
Angelo Scola is an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church, philosopher and theologian. He was Archbishop of Milan from 2011 to 2017. He had served as Patriarch of Venice from 2002 to 2011. He has been a cardinal since 2003 and a bishop since 1991.
Catholic Church and politics aims to cover subjects of where the Catholic Church and politics share common ground.
David Israel Kertzer is an American anthropologist, historian, and academic leader specializing in the political, demographic, and religious history of Italy. He is the Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science, Professor of Anthropology, and Professor of Italian Studies at Brown University. His book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe (2014) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.
Anti-Protestantism is bias, hatred or distrust against some or all branches of Protestantism and its followers.
The Azione Cattolica Italiana, or Azione Cattolica for short, is a widespread Roman Catholic lay association in Italy.
The 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. 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.
Autonomism is a set of anti-authoritarian left-wing political and social movements and theories. As a theoretical system, it first emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerist (operaismo) communism. Later, post-Marxist and anarchist tendencies became significant after influence from the Situationists, the failure of Italian far-left movements in the 1970s, and the emergence of a number of important theorists including Antonio Negri, who had contributed to the 1969 founding of Potere Operaio, as well as Mario Tronti, Paolo Virno and Franco "Bifo" Berardi.
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.
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 born to a middle-class family. He studied in seminary and in 1909 was ordained priest. The following year he was appointed Deputy Pastor in the town of Argenta, which he left in 1912 to go to study in the Scuola Sociale in Bergamo, where he was awarded his degree. Admired both for his courage and determination to cooperate with farmers during World War I Father Minzoni was sent to the front between Italy and Austro-Hungary as an army chaplain.
The labour movement or labor movement consists of two main wings, the trade union movement or labor union movement, also called trade unionism or labor unionism on the one hand, and the political labour movement on the other.