Clotario Blest – The Cross Next to the Hammer and Sickle (July 1931)

[Clotario Blest (1899 – 1990) was a Chilean Catholic activist who advocated for a kind of “proletarian Social Christianity”. He was involved with (and co-founded) Central Única de Trabajadores (CUT) and the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR).]

[The text was published in the “Germen” journal, July 1931. “Germen” was the official organ of Blest’s “Grupo Social Cristiano Germen”. Germen had its roots in the Partido Popular, which was a social Catholic party/grouping which existed outside the bounds of the Conservative Party. According to Stephen J. C. Andes: “Germen never sought to be a political party, but instead involved itself in direct action through labour unionization.” Likewise, “Germen sought a new mentality for Chilean Catholics. In fact, members chose the name because it signified a beginning or growth of something new. […] Germen considered itself as part of a larger movement of social Christians that were ‘in search of a new ordering of things’. This new order, the group believed, would be founded on the construction of an organic, corporate state, rejecting the modern capitalist individualism that had so corroded society.” (The Vatican and Catholic Activism in Mexico and Chile)]

[“In this text, Clotario Blest wants to show us that the Gospel is linked originally and definitively with the workers of the world. Therein is the foundation and universal destiny of Christianity. To express it graphically, he showed a cross […] with the symbols of the hammer and sickle.” – Clotario Blest : profeta de Dios contra el capitalismo (Maximiliano Salinas)]

He who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation

…because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’

The scribes and the pharisees gathered to condemn us have found no other accusation than that our sign is the same as that of the Soviets.

Ignorance?

No; clear and manifest bad faith.

These Doctors of the Law do not recognize the symbol of Christianity, infinitely exalted by sacrifice and highlighted to the ages as a symbol of redemption. 

Workers, as the fundamental basis of any society, should be its dominant preoccupation. The tools of industrial and agricultural work: the hammer and sickle, are emblems of the most sacred signs, after the signs of the Spirit. The cross of Christ placed over these symbols signifies the Christianization of production and life.

Jesus, the son of the carpenter of Nazareth, lived subject to his parents until the age of 30 and his life passed almost entirely in sacrifice and work in the workshop of Joseph, his adoptive father.

His public life unfolded among the children of the people, and his favorite disciples were rough and humble fishermen. 

The sign that the modern scribes do not recognize was drawn by Jesus himself with his birth and private life and with his public life and all its acts. 

The proletarians, the outcasts, were his element. He preached to them and for them, and in their hearts he planted with love and tenderness the seed of his doctrine. He planted his cross as mercy for those who suffer and hungered and thirsted for justice, and was a martyr for the cause of the humble.

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