The autonomous revolution

Dear Friends,

Welcome back!

In this edition, we highlight several major world issues, ranging from ocean heating to peace, to what author Richard Pütz characterises as the imminent "autonomous revolution."

We remember International YCW pioneer, Betty Villa, and introduce a new jocist bishop, Jean-Michaël Durhône of Mauritius.

We present the video from last month's excellent webinar with Tony Annett on Cathonomics and follow this month with James Franklin on "Catholic social justice and the Labor Party 1900-1940."

Cardijn speaks to us once again with his powerful critique of what he called the "bankruptcy of evangelisation" to which he offers the solution of Specialised Catholic Action.

Pope Francis is with us too encouraging young people with the message that they are "the change we need" and remembering his predecessor St John XXIII's still highly relevant encyclical, Pacem in Terris.

And we recall the role played by the International YCW in calling for a shortening to the pre-Vatican II communion fast.

Stefan Gigacz
Young people are the change we need: Pope Francis
Young people embody the change that we all need, Pope Francis writes in the preface to a new book by Gaël Giraud and Carlo Petrini entitled “The taste to change. The ecological transition as the path to happiness” (Slow Food Editore and Libreria Editrice Vaticana).

“The good that appears as beautiful carries with it the reason why it must be done. This is the first thought that arose for me after reading this beautiful dialogue between Carlo Petrini, whom I have known and esteemed for years, a gastronome and activist known all over the world, and Gaël Giraud, a Jesuit economist whose contributions I have recently appreciated in La Civiltà Cattolica, where he writes qualified articles on economics, finance and climate change,” Pope Francis wrote.


Young people are the change we need: Pope Francis (ACI)
The autonomous revolution
"We are entering a new era—emerging technology, particularly AI, will impact labour regardless of your collar colour or if you even wear a collar," writes Richard Pütz.

"As the old saying goes, 'That ship has sailed.' We are into the era of the autonomous revolution.

"The question today is how well-educated people will understand and manage technology as a society. We need to begin thinking about culture and societal phase change. The See-Judge-Act method gives us a framework to understand better the reality we are facing. It is now for us to innovate-educate-collaborate."


Richard Pütz, Cardijn & the world of labour and technology (Cardijn Reflections)
Jim McDermott, ChatGPT is not ‘artificial intelligence.’ It’s theft. (America Magazine)
Pope's Pacem in Terris Appeal
Expecting only those with a “religious vocation”, a miniscule percentage of the total Catholic population, to carry the mission of the whole is a recipe for disaster, writes Sr Christine Burke IBVM in Catholic Outlook.

For 1500 years at least, an attitude has been fostered in our Church which limited the power and responsibility that flows from baptism to a few, to the ones who had “a vocation”. They were not all sleek and well-toned like the stars of the exercise routine, but they were the ones who were committed to really following Christ. In vaunting this more “heroic” following, a shadow message was clearly broadcast: those who chose to marry and have families and/or a profession or trade were the “also-rans”.

Vatican II reshaped the message. All are called by baptism to step up and live out “being Christ” in our world, the life of Jesus as a fully grounded human being, she writes.


Christine Burke IBVM, Healing the split between faith and life (ACI)
Webinar: Catholic Social Action & the Labor Party with James Franklin
Emeritus Professor James Franklin will address the subject “Catholic social justice and the Labor Party 1900-1940” at our next ACI webinar on Tuesday 13 June.

In Europe in the early twentieth century, Catholics like Marc Sangnier and Joseph Cardijn were concerned about justice for the workers and had a plan on what to do about it. At the same time in Australia, Catholics were also concerned about justice for the workers and acted to bring it about.

But the political context of the two continents was completely different, and so were the plans. Or perhaps the plans were not so different as might appear at first.


Tuesday 13 June 2023, 7.30pm AEST

Video: Tony Annett on Cathonomics
Tony Annett's excellent webinar on his book "Cathonomics: How Catholic tradition can create a more just economy" took place on 13 May.


Tony Annett, Cathonomics: Creating a more just economy (ACI/YouTube)


Anthony Annett, Cathonomics: How Catholic tradition can create a more just economy (Amazon)
Ocean heating: A see-judge-act meeting enquiry
Oceans heating up
“To call what’s happening in the oceans right now an anomaly is a bit of an understatement,” writes Matt Simon at Wired magazine.

He continues:

Since March, average sea surface temperatures have been climbing to record highs.
Since this record-keeping began in the early 1980s—the other squiggly lines are previous years—the global average for the world’s ocean surfaces has oscillated seasonally between 19.7 and 21 degrees Celsius. Toward the end of March, the average shot above the 21-degree mark and stayed there for a month. (The most recent reading, for April 26, was just a hair under 21 degrees.) This temperature spike is not just unprecedented, but extreme.


Ocean heating (ACI)
New YCW bishop for Mauritius
Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Jean Michaël Durhône as the Local Ordinary for Port-Louis Diocese in Mauritius, ACI in Africa reports.

Born in June 1973 in the Diocese of Port-Louis, the Mauritian bishop-elect was ordained a priest for the same diocese in August 2005 after completing his priestly formation at the Seminary des Pays-de-la-Loire in the Catholic Diocese of Nantes in France.

An alumnus of the Belgium-based Lumen Vitae Institute where he obtained a licentiate in Moral Theology, Pastoral, and Catechesis, he has been serving as Secretary General of the Episcopal Conferences of Indian Ocean (CEDOI).

Since his ordination to the priesthood, Mons. Durhône has previously served in various positions, including Vicar of St. Louis Cathedral of Port-Louis Diocese; Diocesan Chaplain of the Young Christian Workers Movement; and Diocesan Head of Catechesis.


New YCW bishop for Mauritius (ACI)
Cardijn condemns "the bankruptcy of evangelisation"
Returning to Belgium in 1948 after a tour of Latin America and parts of Africa, Cardijn could not contain his shock at what the “anguishing problem” he had witnessed.

The Church had allied itself or at least failed to separate itself from a series of evils leading to what he characterised as "the bankruptcy of evangelisation."

But he also proposed an alternative: Specialised Catholic Action as exemplified by the JOC.


Joseph Cardijn, The bankruptcy of evangelisation (Cardijn Reflections)

Joseph Cardijn, The solution: Specialised Catholic Action (Cardijn Reflections)
History: The YCW campaign to shorten the Communion fast
For more than ten years from the early 1950s, the Belgian JOC had lobbied Cardinal Jozef-Ernest Van Roey of Malines to seek a reduction in the length of the communion fast, citing the difficulty for young workers in factories who were thus unable to receive communion or take breakfast.

On 1 March 1962, the IYCW International Secretariat took up this issue in a letter to all national movements, calling on them to study the issue and write to their local bishops and/or to the Preparatory Pontifical Commission on the Discipline of the Sacraments.


Reducing the length of the Eucharistic fast (Cardijn @ Vatican II)
RIP Betty Villa, former vice-president of the International YCW
Betty Villa, vice-president of the International YCW from 1961-65 and a signatory of the Communion fast letter, has died in her native Philippines at the age of 96.

We remember her by sharing this video she recorded for the Cardijn Community International Vatican2+50 Conference held in Manila in 2012.

RIP Betty and thanks for your lifetime of commitment.

Marcel Uylenbroeck: The laity and the Council
Marcel Uylenbroeck
"The Council has already voted and the Holy Father, united with the Council Fathers, has promulgated the Dogmatic Constitution 'Lumen Gentium' on the Church, and a special chapter in this Constitution deals with 'Laity in the Church',” wrote Cardijn's successor as chaplain to the IYCW, Mgr Marcel Uylenbroeck.

"The doctrinal richness of the Constitution is immense and, as a movement of the apostolate of the laity, we must rejoice deeply that the Supreme Authority of the Church has defined the place and the mission of lay people in the Church in such an official way. At the same time, it is a call to all YCW leaders and chaplains, whose mission is to animate and train lay leaders, to believe ever more deeply in their vocation and to commit generously to the apostolate among the working youth of the world."


Marcel Uylenbroeck, The laity and the Council (Cardijn Reflections)
Christian Workers Movement
The Australian Christian Workers movement continues to develop, Kevin Vaughan notes.

To join and/or to receive more information, please write to Kevin at:
Cardijn on lay apostolate, as remembered by Betty Villa
Editorial Note: The purpose of the ACI Newsletter is to share information and promote discussion. Citing or linking to articles does not imply any endorsement by ACI of the authors' views.
Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Ltd
Incorporated in 2018
(Cooperatives National Law Application Act 2013)
ABN: 19211591334
A charity registered with the ACNC
Corresponding member of Pax Romana-ICMICA
(Please consider making a bequest to ACI in your will)
Registered Address: 56 Austin Rd, Seaford, Vic, 3198
Current members: Please transfer $12 to our account to renew for 2021-22.
New members: $25 including joining fee, 3 shares and membership for the first year. Join online here:
Account name: Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative
Bank: Great Southern Bank BSB: 814282 A/c No.: 51304905
facebook twitter instagram