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Progressismus gallicus in French and Belgian relationes ad limina from 1947 to 1957

Patrizia Luciani    Independent scholar    



The Church of Pius XII was faced with the major problem of secularisation that accompanied the modernisation of European society. In the post-World War II Catholic world, France and Belgium were pioneers in seeking new pastoral methods that could reach out and involve, in particular, the workers, that social class which was most sensitive to the dynamics of de-Christianisation and religious indifferentism. The relationes ad limina of the period allow us to reconstruct a lively and innovative ecclesial landscape, within which the experience of worker priests was the best-known and most debated pastoral response, but not the only one. This article describes this tendency towards pastoral experimentation in France and Belgium between 1947 and 1957, at a time when Pius XII seemed to view Progressismus gallicus with fear and concern, but also with some hope.

Dec. 16, 2022
Nov. 10, 2022
Sept. 14, 2022

Keywords: FrancePius XIIRelationes ad liminaPetites Soeurs de JesusSecularismWorker priestsBelgium Magdeleine HutinProgressive Catholicism

Copyright: © 2022 Patrizia Luciani. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.