Yesterday I was pleased to discover that all articles published in the Nouvelle Revue Théologique from 1958 to 2000 by the Belgian Jesuits are now online. Congratulations to the publishers for making this important publication available on “open access” to all researchers (or at least those who read French!).
Excellent, I thought, that will save me some trips to libraries in Europe!
Disappointment quickly set in though when I typed Cardijn into the search box and found not one reference in the index of articles that mentions Joseph Cardijn! Bear in mind this is a theological review published in Belgium by Belgians!
And his name is mentioned a few more times as part of the name of Centre de Formation Cardijn (CEFOC), eg here.
I was staggered – but once again not surprised.
Searching on terms such as lay (laïc – 22 articles), laity (laïcat – 7 articles), lay apostolate (apostolat des laïcs – 3 articles), Catholic Action (Action catholique – 10 articles) did enable me to unearth one article citing Cardijn, namely French YCW chaplain Louis Le Bras’s 1945 article Pentecôte pour ce temps.
However, I soon realised that the NRT search engine is not very good and that I was probably missing a few references.
So back to google where I searched on site:nrt.be cardijn
And I found 36 references to Cardijn including the ones above! Well, that’s starting to look a bit better.
But then I started to search on other names and this is what I found in descending order:
Gérard Philips 7080
Henri de Lubac 2900
John Paul II 1780 (+ Wojtyla 94)
Paul VI 879
Thomas d’Aquin 784
Yves Congar 585
Pius XII 448
John XXIII 421
Teilhard de Chardin 418
Maurice Blondel 407
John Henry Newman 333
Karl Marx 289
Frédéric Ozanam 24
Gérard Philips, a former YCS chaplain and the architect of Lumen Gentium, heads the list by several lengths of the pool. Henri de Lubac comes next and probably drags Maurice Blondel in his wake.
By the same token, it also shows how little theological reflection on Cardijn has come from the Cardijn movements themselves, which can only sadly mean that no man (or at least Cardijn) is a prophet in his own movement.. and by that I do not mean the YCW of today but rather the whole Cardijn ‘movement’ of people formed in the Cardijn tradition over the last say 50 years.