[Tomás Malagón (1917-1984), according to Gerd-Rainer Horn, was “the second crucial personality in the early years of the HOAC [Hermandad Obrera de Accion Catolica]“. He was “born in 1917 and ordained as a priest in 1943. As had been the case with Guillermo Rovirosa, Malagón had spent the Civil War years on the Republican side. A seminary student at the Pontifical University of Comillas in Santander when war broke out, he abandoned his studies and joined the Republican military where he rubbed shoulders with socialists, communists, and anarchists, an experience which, Malagón later on insisted, affected his intellectual and moral outlook profoundly. He joined the Spanish Communist Party during the Civil War. Tomás Malagón, in the words of one of the outstanding historians of Spanish Left Catholicism, Rafael Díaz-Salazar, ‘was a precursor of political theology and the theology of liberation when they did not yet exist as such. He performed the role of liberation theologian in Spain already in the course of the 1950s.’ Malagón employed such categories of analysis as ‘the mystical body of Christ’ and ‘class struggle’ at a time when such a terminology—certainly in combination!—was still frowned upon in Catholic circles even in neighbouring France.”]
[Originally published in Id y Evangelizad Magazine nº17, date unknown.]
The Need for Christian Militants
D. Tomás Malagón
We are living in an important historical moment (similar to the Renaissance or the industrial revolution…), it is a society of constant growth, with new technologies, etc. causing rapid changes in customs, cultures, etc. There is a “rush” towards change that wasn’t known before. Therefore, it is an epoch favorable to losing your orientation, your course.
Society is made up of men and man is an “adventurous” being (as opposed to the animal that is always “conservative”), he never gets accustomed to anything, he seeks new paths, change.
In this search for adventure and change, man needs “guides”, indicators. It is the mission of the leaders and MILITANTS. The militant is not only the one who knows, he is also the one who helps, lends a hand, orients, and stimulates.
Every philosophical system, every conception or theory of life searches for and needs MILITANTS to give expression to, in reality, this philosophy or meaning of life. In CHRISTIANITY, there is a need for MILITANTS as well.
Being a Christians obliges us to be militant
The Christian is a member of a body whose head is Christ. In this body all the members are “interrelated” and are mutually responsible. (Gn 4:9: “the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?”). The conscious Christian is a MILITANT, responsible for the other.
Being a Christian entails feeling responsible for bringing this world closer to the Reign of Christ and making it visible with its own characteristics: peace, justice, love,… the realization of GOD’S PLAN. In this project every Christian is responsible, and will be responsible in a visible way, if they gather with others to commit themselves to making the Reign real. Being a Christian implies “giving communal witness to the Reign”, it is impossible to do that without MILITANTS.
The Christian has received a mandate: “you shall love others.” To do this, they must open themselves up to others, from MILITANCY. “The Christian is a militant or he is an apostate” (Pius XII).
In the Church
The Church is the depository of the WORD, and faith and salvation comes from hearing. The Christian has the duty of transmitting this liberatory Word to men as light, strength… To do this requires MILITANTS.
The Church is the depository of GRACE: the salvific power of Christ continues to save us and to reach all… by means of MILITANTS.
The Church is the depository of LIFE that manifests itself in “fraternity”, sharing,… It is the life that springs up from the Gospel that must multiply itself by means of MILITANTS.
Being a Christian entails being a “mediator” (bridge) between God and the World, a man united with God for the faith and humanity, out of a sense of duty. Every Christian is like the Church, a mediator — a committed MILITANT.
The Christian is a WITNESS by special order of Jesus who leads the world to love, life… to Jesus himself.
The Church is HOPE in a hopeless world, and without illusion, a hope manifested and shown by Christian militants.
The Church breaks barriers of every kind, to humanize and to unify men, a Church “without frontiers”. The Christian must make this mission of unification, humanization… uniting everyone. This is the mission of the CHRISTIAN MILITANT.
During other periods the Church was defended by the States (Kings, Francoism,…) These days it is not like that, thanks be to God. It is more independent… But this requires more commitment from Christians of the “base” with more “conviction”. We have a mission to accomplish. What reason do we have to not be militants? Everything requires us and leads us to be MILITANTS.