was the name of many groups of lay
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...
Catholics who were attempting to encourage a Catholic influence on society.
They were especially active in the nineteenth century in historically Catholic countries that fell under anti-clerical regimes such as Spain, Italy, Bavaria, France, and Belgium.
Catholic Action is not a political party, although in many times and places this distinction became blurred. Since World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
the concept has often been eclipsed by Christian Democrat parties that were organised to combat Communist parties in places such as Italy and West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....
A Catholic Action group was active in Australia, called "The Movement" and later the National Civic Council, under B.A. Santamaria. They were active in the Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...
, but were expelled by more left wing elements and went on to form the Democratic Labor Party
The Democratic Labor Party was an Australian political party that existed from 1955 until 1978.-History:The DLP was formed as a result of a split in the Australian Labor Party that began in 1954. The split was between the party's national leadership, under the then party leader Dr H.V...
In Chile Catholic Action was the name of a nationwide youth movement. Under the aegis of Saint Alberto Hurtado it was responsible for the founding of the Chilean Trade Union Association.
The Azione Cattolica Italiana, or Azione Cattolica for short, is a widespread lay Roman Catholic association in Italy.-History:...
is probably the most active Catholic Action group still around today. Catholic Action was particularly well suited to Italy where Catholic party political action was impractical firstly under the Anti-Clerical Savoyard
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...
regime from 1870 until about 1910 and later under the Fascist regime which prohibited independent political parties. The present association Azione Cattolica
was founded in 1867 by Mario Fani and Giovanni Acquaderni with the name of Società della Gioventù Cattolica Italiana
(Italian Catholic Youth Society), then reformed during the Mussolini regime when the association was structured into 4 sectors and was called Azione Cattolica.
Catholic Action in other countries
Catholic Action was organised in many other countries, including:
- Brazil (see Alceu Amoroso Lima
Alceu Amoroso Lima was a writer, journalist and activist from Brazil. He adopted the pseudonym Tristão de Ataíde in 1919 and wrote under that name. In 1928 he converted to Catholicism and eventually became head of Catholic Action in Brazil...
- Canada (see Catherine Doherty
Ekaterina Fyodorovna Kolyschkine Doherty, better known as Catherine Doherty, CM, Servant of God was a social activist and foundress of the Madonna House Apostolate...
- Croatia (see Croatian Catholic movement
Croatian Catholic movement is the name for the gathering of organized Catholic lay initiatives and associations, who acts in the first half of the 20th century in Croatia, as a response on increasing liberalism, with a new, aggressive approach, and on the phenomena of Church and religion lost the...
- France (see La Croix
La Croix is a daily French general-interest Roman Catholic newspaper. It is published in Paris and distributed throughout the country, with a circulation of just under 110,000 as of 2009...
- Poland (See Aleksander Cardinal Kakowski)
- South Korea
- Spain, where it gave rise to Cursillo
Cursillos in Christianity is a ministry of the Roman Catholic Church...
- United Kingdom
- United States (See Friendship House
Friendship House is a missionary movement founded in the early 1930s by Catholic social justice activist Catherine de Hueck Doherty, one of the leading proponents of interracial justice in pre-Martin Luther King, Jr...
and Catholics for the Common Good)
- Blessed Bartolome Blanco Marquez
Blessed Bartolomé Blanco Márquez Bartolomé Blanco Márquez was born in Pozoblanco, Córdoba Province, Spain in 1914. He was arrested as a Catholic leader—he was the secretary of Catholic Action and a delegate to the Catholic Syndicates—on Aug. 18, 1936. He was executed on Oct...
, Youth leader of Catholic Action and martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...
of the Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...
- Student Catholic Action
The Student Catholic Action is a religious student organization in the Philippines. Its affiliation overseas is the , also known as that follows the methodology of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, the see-judge-act methodology...
- Political catholicism
Political catholicism is a political and cultural conception which promotes the ideas and social teaching of the Catholic Church in public life...
- Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching is a body of doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of poverty and wealth, economics, social organization and the role of the state...