Cardinals tell of five conditions for their future Apostolate
FRENCH Catholics in the main are delighted with the statement about the future of the priest-workers' apostolate issued on Sunday by Cardinal Feltin, Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Lienart, Bishop of Lille and Cardinal Gerlier, Archbishop of Lyons.
The statement, as correctly forecast in last Week's CATHOLIC HERALD, announces that the Holy See has decided that the apostolate shall continue, subject to five conditions governing the training and activities of the priest-workers.
This decision is interpreted in France by well-informed Catholics as a formal vindication of the visionary experiment launched on the initiative of the late Cardinal Suhard in 1943.
The Church's concern now is with practical ways and means of eliminating the spiritual and doctrinal dangers inevitably involved in such an unparalleled mission during its first 10 years of trial.
Referring first to their special audience with the Pope, the three Cardinals say: —this meeting was marked by great confidence on both sides. It revealed the distress felt by the Holy Father, and shared by the Cardinals. about the formidable difficulties and perils inherent in this apostolate.
"But it also revealed the formal will of the Church not to abandon at any price its effort to preach the Gospel to the working masses which arc so sadly de-Christianised.
"After 10 years' existence. the experiment of the priest workers as it has developed up to the present day cannot be maintained in its actual form.
"But. anxious to keep the Contact established between herself and the workers by the pioneers of this apostolate. the Church is willing to consider that priests who have given proof of possessing adequate qualities should carry on a priestly apostolate in the midst of the workingclass world."
The Cardinals' statement lists the live conditions laid down by the Church for the preparation and status of priest-workers from now on :
I. They shall be specially chosen by their Bishops.
2. 'They shall receive a special and sound training front the point of view of doctrine and spiritual. directime 3. They must not perform manual work except for a limited time. so that their ability to meet all the demands made on them as priests may be safeguarded.
Job for laymen
4. They shall undertake no secular engagement which could create for them trade union or other responsibilities. These should be left to laymen.
5. They shall not. live in isolation but shall be attached to a community of priests or to a parish, taking some part in parish life.
The Cardinals end by saying that "enquiries are to he held, in agreement with the Holy Sec, to work out precise methods of applying these measures. This must he done calmly and in a great spirit of faith and obedience to the Church."
Apostolic Delegate to Canada
Archbishop Panico, former Apostolic Delegate to Australia, and now Papal Nuncio to Peru. has been appointed Apostolic Delegate to Canada.
He succeeds Archbishop Antoniutti, recently appointed Papal Nuncio to Spain.
Mgr. Panico, born in Italy in 1895, has served the Holy See in Czechoslovakia and Austria as well as Australia.