Video: Gerard Philips, theologian, senator and promoter of the laity: Prof. Mathijs Lamberigts

2022 not only marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council in October 1962 but it is also the 50th anniversary of the death of Belgian theologian, Gerard Philips, the architect of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.

ACI invited Professor Mathijs Lamberigts, former director of the Vatican II Centre at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, to be the presenter for our 13 September webinar entitled “Gerard Philips, Theologian, senator and promoter of the laity.”

Gerard Philips, theologian, senator and promoter of the laity

Born on 29 April 1899, Philips was an early and enthusiastic collaborator of Joseph Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement. During the 1930s, he played a key role as chaplain in the development of the Flemish Catholic students movement. Continuing his work with Cardijn, he promoted Specialised Catholic Action among generations of Belgian seminarians.

In 1952, he published his landmark book, De leek in de Kerk, translated into English as “The laity in the Church.” In 1957, he achieved further prominence with his keynote address to the Second World Congress on Lay Apostolate in Rome.

As a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, Philips was called on by Cardinal Léon-Joseph Suenens to write what became the first draft of the future Dogmatic Constution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. Later, he collaborated closely with French peritus, Pierre Haubtmann, in the drafting of the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World, Gaudium et Spes.

To these tasks, he brought his knowledge as a theologian but also the skills of diplomacy and negotiation that he had developed as a co-opted senator in the Belgian parliament

Originally from the Diocese of Liège, Gerard Philips taught at the University of Louvain (Leuven) from 1944 until his death on 14 July 1972.

Mathijs Lamberigts

Mathijs Lamberigts

Mathijs Lamberigts is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven, where he remains a member of the Research Unit on the History of Church and Theology.

An academic librarian from 1989 to 2000, Professor Lamberigts was Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Leuven from 2000 to 2008, and again from 2014 to 2018.

For 15 years, he was a member of the Religious Sciences working group of the Belgian National Foundation for Scientific Research (FNRS) and is also a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium.

He is a member of the editorial staff of several leading theological including. Augustiniana, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, Melitta, Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales, Revue d’Histoire Ecclésiastique, and Sacris Erudiri.

Webinar: Gerard Philips, architect of Lumen Gentium

2022 not only marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council in October 1962 but it is also the 50th anniversary of the death of Belgian theologian, Gerard Philips, the architect of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.

ACI has therefore invited Professor Mathijs Lamberigts, former director of the Vatican II Centre at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, to be the presenter for our 13 September webinar entitled “Gerard Philips, Theologian, senator and promoter of the laity.”

Gerard Philips, theologian, senator and promoter of the laity

Born on 29 April 1899, Philips was an early and enthusiastic collaborator of Joseph Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement. During the 1930s, he played a key role as chaplain in the development of the Flemish Catholic students movement. Continuing his work with Cardijn, he promoted Specialised Catholic Action among generations of Belgian seminarians.

In 1952, he published his landmark book, De leek in de Kerk, translated into English as “The laity in the Church.” In 1957, he achieved further prominence with his keynote address to the Second World Congress on Lay Apostolate in Rome.

As a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, Philips was called on by Cardinal Léon-Joseph Suenens to write what became the first draft of the future Dogmatic Constution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. Later, he collaborated closely with French peritus, Pierre Haubtmann, in the drafting of the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World, Gaudium et Spes.

To these tasks, he brought his knowledge as a theologian but also the skills of diplomacy and negotiation that he had developed as a co-opted senator in the Belgian parliament

Originally from the Diocese of Liège, Gerard Philips taught at the University of Louvain (Leuven) from 1944 until his death on 14 July 1972.

Mathijs Lamberigts

Mathijs Lamberigts

Mathijs Lamberigts is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven, where he remains a member of the Research Unit on the History of Church and Theology.

An academic librarian from 1989 to 2000, Professor Lamberigts was Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Leuven from 2000 to 2008, and again from 2014 to 2018.

For 15 years, he was a member of the Religious Sciences working group of the Belgian National Foundation for Scientific Research (FNRS) and is also a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium.

He is a member of the editorial staff of several leading theological including. Augustiniana, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, Melitta, Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales, Revue d’Histoire Ecclésiastique, and Sacris Erudiri.

Date and time

Tuesday 13 September, 7pm AEST

Register

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86728331442?pwd=UERxRjM3NnhKZmlxSkRERnhlL3Budz09

READ MORE

Gerard Philips (French Wikipedia)

Gerard Phiips, The 25th anniversary of the YCW (French)

Gerard Philips, Reflections of a theologian (French)

LG31 Forum on Formation for the Lay Apostolate

Following the success of our first LG31 Forum and of the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council, we will hold our second forum on Thursday 28 July 2022 at 7.00pm AEST.

Plenary Decree 6 on “Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry” makes formation for the apostolate of the laity a priority for the Australian Church.

“Responding to the call for a renewal of formation,” §7 of the introduction to Decree 6 reads, “the Plenary Council endorses principles and strategies that develop models of formation to encourage and strengthen the apostolate of the laity in the world. “

It continues with a strong endorsement of the see-judge-act method for this formation:

This apostolate offers a particular prophetic sign by seeking the common good and by concrete actions that protect and promote human dignity, peace and justice. Attentive to the ‘signs of the times’, movements of the lay apostolate, in their various forms, offer the baptised a way to reflect on the concrete experiences of their lives in the light of the Gospel and engage as missionary disciples in the world.

As a means for formation, the apostolate of the laity is grounded in scriptural reflection, reception of the ecclesial wisdom of our tradition, and prayerful communal discernment. This formation shapes Christian engagement with the broader Australian community through listening and dialogue, and supports actions for the transformation of society through daily commitment and public witness.

“Therefore, to meet the formation needs of the present and future,” §9 adds, “the Plenary Council commits the Church in Australia to developing and committing to a culture of life-long faith

In our next LG31 forum we will discuss how to implement these decrees, looking particularly at what ACI can offer.

Please join us for this important event.

REGISTER FOR THE NEXT LG31 FORUM ON FORMATION FOR THE LAY APOSTOLATE

Date: Thursday 28 July 2022

Time: 7pm AEST

Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpdequrTssE9bwDut7c1Woqx0peD4mAO-t

SOURCES

Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry (Australian Plenary Council)

2022: Australian Plenary Council: Formation (Australian Cardijn Institute)

Leadership for Mission (Australian Cardijn Institute)

Forum: Lumen Gentium 31 and the lay apostolate

The Australian Plenary Council has published its Framework for Motions to be discussed at its Second Assembly which will meet in Sydney from 4-9 July 2022.

Once again, ACI’s concern was the lack of emphasis on the lay vocation or apostolate of lay people. See also Fr Bruce Duncan’s critique of the Framework, which expresses similar concerns.

Meanwhile, Cardinal-elect Robert McElroy has highlighted the potential of the see-judge-act method for the development of a truly synodal Church.

Our latest submission therefore proposes amendments to §79-80, which fall under “Part 6. Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry.” 

In particular, the ACI submission called for the insertion of a paragraph highlighting that formation needs to focus on promoting the “specifically lay apostolate of lay people acting as a leaven within the world.”

This is based on §31 of the Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium (LG31), which states:

What specifically characterizes the laity is their secular nature. It is true that those in holy orders can at times be engaged in secular activities, and even have a secular profession. But they are by reason of their particular vocation especially and professedly ordained to the sacred ministry. Similarly, by their state in life, religious give splendid and striking testimony that the world cannot be transformed and offered to God without the spirit of the beatitudes. But the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven. They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven. In this way they may make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity. Therefore, since they are tightly bound up in all types of temporal affairs it is their special task to order and to throw light upon these affairs in such a way that they may come into being and then continually increase according to Christ to the praise of the Creator and the Redeemer.

Our second proposed amendment is to §80 and reads as follows:

To achieve this, the Church in Australia and in each diocese commits to develop and accompany lay apostolate formation movements, including classical movements such as the YCW and YCS as well as new initiatives responding to 21st century social realities and needs. Following the see-judge-act method of formation based on small review of life groups meeting regularly, these movements enable Christians to reflect on the concrete experiences of their lives as workers, family members and citizens in the light of the Gospel and to take personal and collective action to transform their lives and communities working for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven (Lumen Gentium §31). Priests, religious and lay ministers will play a vital special role in accompaniment in promoting this formation.

Lumen Gentium 31 Forum

Our 2021 Submission to the Plenary also called for the establishment of an Australian Catholic Council for the Lay Apostolate to promote the Vatican II vision of lay apostolate.

To date, we have no indication that this proposal will be adopted by the Plenary.

ACI will therefore hold an open forum to discuss further action to implement this proposal.

We invite all members and friends of ACI to join us for this event.

Please also see the link below for a compilation of resources on Catholic Social Teaching concerning the lay apostolate.

DETAILS

ACI Open Forum Lumen Gentium 31 and the Lay Apostolate

Saturday 2 July, 2.00pm AEST

REGISTRATION LINK

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkfuGvqDgrH9wxxFJxAZc9NFXN8aeAeyIY

PHOTO

Lawrence OP / Flickr / CC BY ND NC 2.0

READ MORE

Fr Bruce Duncan CsSR, Plenary Council fails to embrace Pope Francis’s wider social vision (Eureka Street)

Cardinal-elect Robert McElroy, Pope Francis and Vatican II give us a road map for the synodal process (America Magazine)

A Chicago Declaration of Christian Concern 1977 (Australian Cardijn Institute)

ACI Submission to the Plenary 2019 on Lay Apostolate

ACI Submission to the Plenary 2021 on an Australian Catholic Council for the Lay Apostolate

ACI Proposed Amendments to the Plenary Framework for Motions 2022

Resources on Lay Apostolate (Australian Cardijn Institute)