Pope Pius XI famously lamented to Cardijn about the loss of the working class in March 1925.
Pius XI said to me: “Sit down there”. And when I was seated, he asked me: “Well, what do you want?” I answered him exclaiming: “Holy Father, I want to kill myself to save young people and the working class.” And it was the turn of Pius to exclaim: “At last, someone who wants to kill himself to save the working class.”… And then, as he did so often subsequently as if he was before a crowd of a thousand people, he continued: “Yes, it is necessary to kill oneself to save the working world. Not just the elite but the mass. The elite is the leaven, and the elite are the multipliers. The Church needs the working class… Without the working class, the Church is not the Church of Christ… Every young worker has an infinite value… etc. Yes, kill yourself to bring them back to the Church. The greatest scandal of the nineteenth century is that the Church lost the working class. I bless you, I support you. Your movement is not your movement, it’s mine, it belongs to the Church. Whoever touches it touches the apple of my eye.”Joseph Cardijn, 1962, Meeting with Pope Pius XI
What would Pope Pius XI’s lament be if he were to look at Australia today?
He may be overjoyed that 1,755 Catholic schools in Australia educate more than 785,000 students or one in every five Australian students.
Yet, he may be sad to hear that only 12% of Australian Catholics attend mass.
He may be overjoyed that over 3,000 Catholic organisations employ more than 220,000 employees.
Yet, he may be sad to hear that most Australians no longer identify as Christians (Christianity: 44%, No religion: 39%, Islam: 3%, Hinduism: 3%, Buddhism: 2%).
Australia needs a new Pentecost.
A new evangelization is needed in Australia.
Perhaps Australia needs to be reintroduced to the jocist method.
Perhaps Australia needs to be reintroduced to the works of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn.
How can we, who have been trained in the jocist method, reintroduce the jocist method to Australia today?
By Greg Lopez