Statement from the Directors of the Catholic Journal La Quinzaine on Their Condemnation by the Vatican (1955)

[In 1955, the Holy Office condemned La Quinzaine, the journal of the Christian progressistes. Its directors then demonstrated, by deferring to Rome, that they were not the heretics they were supposed to be, confident that the future would justify their efforts.]

If the Church were merely a human institution protecting a certain political order or social doctrine, we would have every reason to break with it. If belonging to the Church means accepting Bonn’s concept of Europe, defending private ownership of the means of production, or dreaming of collaboration between capital and labor, let it be said once and for all: many who are baptized would no longer remain in the Church.

But the Church was founded by Christ in order that his love might be known to all men. The salvation of Christ is wrought through the meditation of the Church. That is why attachment to the Church lies at the very roots of our being. Our readers realize that the confidence and interest awakened by La Quinzaine found their meaning only within the framework of fidelity to the Church,

We have chosen to cease publication and we realize the gravity of our decision. We do not know how the Church will come to accept the values of a new civilization opposed to the old, which Rome still seems to be a prisoner. But our faith in Christ compels us not to despair of his Church, and to remain certain that despite often discouraging appearances, the Church has the means by which to effect the changes required by the universal character of its message. . . .

We remain faithful to the Church, and equally, to our commitments to our fellow workers and our fellow combatants, whoever they may be. Any denial of the choices we have made, any breaking of the bonds of solidarity we have formed, are out of the question. . . . Christians today have no right merely to watch the tremendous effort that is being undertaken for the welfare of humanity and for the spread of culture over wider areas. To strive with others for the achievement of these human objectives does not result from a weakened faith or some sinister influence of Marxism. On the contrary, it springs from the same impulse of faith which makes Christians leave their ghetto and set out to share the human effort. What is the distinctive mark of a Christian receive at baptism, if it is not this rootedness in the Church of Christ, which links him with the salvation of the world and makes him concerned about all men? . . .

Friends of La Quinzaine, it is up to us all to hasten developments, to invent new approaches, to intensify the struggle for a world of justice and peace, and to give life and shape to the hope of Christ.

[Original source: Directors of La Quinzaine, published in La vie intellectuelle (March, 1949), pp. 278-280] 
[Translation found in The Catholic Avant-Garde: French Catholicism since World War II – edited by Jean-Marie Domenach and Robert de Montvalon, pg. 171-172]