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The movement of young workers founded by Joseph cardijn (18821967) as a curate in Belgium, named the Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne (JOC) and extended first in Belgium and France and then throughout the world in a variety of specialized movements, e.g., the Jeunesse Agricole Chrétienne (JAC) and the Jeunesse Étudiante Chrétienne (JEC). Its characteristic organization of small groups for the apostolate of "like to like" and its method of formation (see-judge-act) were widely adopted and praised by Pius XI and succeeding popes. Paul VI elevated the founder to the college of cardinals in 1965. The concept of a Catholic youth movement that would be autonomous, socially oriented, and aimed at the development of all aspects of young factory workers was a radical innovation in Catholic circles of the time. The whole weight of tradition had been paternalistic and pietistic. By 1918, however, Belgian Catholics were becoming aware of the disastrous effects of the neglect of the social problems resulting from industrialization. Socialism had filled the vacuum, and the working class had largely abandoned traditional religion. To satisfy working-class aspirations it was necessary to direct an appeal specifically to this social class and to create working-class organizations under working-class leadership with working-class goals. This necessity was seen clearly by Cardijn, a true pioneer.

[j. n. moody]

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