Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




From 1943 to 1954 a small religious experiment called the worker-priest movement took place in France. Journalists throughout the world, including Catholic writers and editors from Great Britain, Ireland, Canada and the United States, provided coverage of the worker-priest movement. How the English-language Catholic press reacted to the movement, an well as what that reaction represents, is the subject of this thesis.

The introduction out.linen thr major themes of this study, and is followed by two ehaptorp that, establish the background and context of the worker-pr i est movement. Chapter I is an explanation of why the worker-priest movement was initiated in the first place. It shows that there were numerous events and circumstances that led to a large proportion of French industrial workers, "the proletariat," abandoning or neglecting Christianity. Chapter II describes the movement's history in its entirety, but it specifically reveals the facts about the first worker-priest mission, which took place from 1943 to 1954.

Chapter III is an examination of articles written published in eight Catholic periodicals from Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, and the United States, constitute the thesis' primary source material. They are arranged topically, that is, according to the different problems or questions that they address.

The fourth and final chapter is an analysis of English- language Catholic press coverage of the worker~priest movement. This portion of the thesis illustrates why the press reacted as it did and focuses primarily on the accusation that the worker-priestp were being heavily influenced by French corwtmn i at. n and Marx ant. ideas. It points out that the Catholic press' allegations that the worker-priest were becoming communists were inaccurate and shows that these journalists were motivated by the collective fear of communism that pervaded the Roman Catholic Church during the years of the worker-priest movement.

The conclusion, in addition to summarizing the thesis, assesses the worker-priest movement as it relates to contemporary developments in the Roman Catholic Church.

Included in

Psychology Commons