I’ve written several times about the bewildering absence of Cardijn from the literature relating to Vatican II.
See these two recent posts:
Today, I have just published a short review of Alberigo and Komonchak’s History of Vatican II which a few of the reasons for this absence. In particular, I mention the lack of a genuine international perspective in the writing of the history and the lack of a Braudelian Annales School long term longue durée perspective.
In the light of this, it is also revelatory to read Bernard Minvielle’s thesis L’apostolat des laïcs à la veille du Concile (1949-1959) Histoire des Congrès mondiaux de 1951 et 1957 (Editions Universitaires Fribourg Suisse, 2001, 498p.)
As the title indicates, it is a history of the World Congresses of the Lay Apostolate held in 1951 and 1957 in Rome. Cardijn was the keynote speaker at the first of these events and the second was held just weeks after the famous International Pilgrimage and International Council of the YCW in August-September 1957.
And it is interesting to compare the index references to certain figures with those of the Alberigo-Komonchak History.
To quote my review of the five volume History:
In this context, an analysis of index references is also revealing. Significant lay figures are mentioned very few times, e.g. Rosemary Goldie (COPECIAL, the pre-conciliar Permanent Committee of International Conferences for the Lay Apostolate, Australia) 6, Marie-Louise Monnet (Movement, of catholic professionals, MIAMSI, France) 3, Patrick Keegan (YCW and International Movement of Christian Workers) 7, Ramon Sugranyes de Franch (International Movement of Catholic Intellectuals Pax Romana ICMICA) 10, Vittorino Veronese (Italian, president of COPECIAL) 8. Moreover, Cardijn himself who was involved on a daily basis in the work of the Council is mentioned only eight times.
At one level, the answer is that Minvielle’s book was published in 2001, around the time the fourth Alberigo-Komonchak volume would have been in the editing process (publication 2003).
Certainly, many of these movements went into decline after Vatican II but in theory at least that should not affect the work of historians!
And now for something controversial: Is the disappearance of Cardijn and the lay movements linked to the so-called ‘hermeneutic of rupture’? There’s no doubt that if you apply a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ to the interpretation of Vatican II, it would be extremely difficult to overlook this contribution. Now, there’s something to think about!