This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Elias Crim has published an interesting article on Father José María Arizmendiareta on American religious website Patheos, which, according to the Alexa rankings, is among the 2,000 most-visited websites in the world, with almost 25 million hits every month.
So, this interesting article analyzes the history of the Basque priest and how after arriving at Mondragon (whose priest, José Joaquín Arín Oyarzábal had been assassinated along with two other priests by the Francoist insurgents in 1937) in the postwar, comes up with the idea that has today become the Mondragon Corporation.
The story goes back to 1943 and the creation of a polytechnic school, and then to 1955, when five graduates of that school created one of the first industrial cooperatives. Those five young men were the first brick in what was to become the Mondragon Corporation, an international federation of worker cooperatives that is the fourth largest in the Kingdom of Spain and which employs more than 74,000 people all over the world, with almost €12 billion in annual sales.
Father Arizmendiarrieta, who was profoundly influenced by the Catholic Church’s Social Doctrine, was part of that group of believers who pushed forward a profound change in the Church, which we can say started with the encyclical Rerum Novarum and which reached its zenith with the Theology of Liberation, which is also a consequence of the 1959 Second Vatican Council, right about the time Mondragon was taking its first steps.
He’s also a man who is tightly linked to his nation, even going so far as to be incarcerated by the insurgents for taking the side of Basque institutions when they faced Francoism during the Spanish Civil War.
Elias Crim talks about all of this in his article, as well as how the priest made the human being the center of his view of what the role of Catholicism and the Church should be. The article also collects a selection of his thoughts which shine for his belief in the need that the focus of all the Church’s actions, and of society’s be humankind and each person’s dignity. Special attention is paid to his quotes about women and the role and attitude they should have, which were revolutionary in that time, environment, and Catholic way of thought.
An interesting summary of the idea of cooperativism and the “third way” that this Biscayne priest set into motion in the heart of Gipuzkoa.
We’ll leave you, our readers, with the Patheos article and a link to a website that was set up for the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of this amazing priest’s birth.
Patheos – 30/5/2016 – USA
A Saint for a New Socioeconomic Order
Saints, G.K. Chesterton once pointed out, are an antidote to whatever the age neglects. Such figures restore the world to sanity by exaggerating whatever it has overlooked. In today’s world of Trumpism, our little band here at the Dorothy Option is arguing that a large dose of Dorothy Day is long overdo for American society. But just as Chesterton juxtaposed brilliantly St. Francis and St. Thomas, the more to underline their complementarity, so we might propose a figure (also with a cause for canonization underway) to set beside Dorothy. Beside her radical charity, we need a model of radical solidarity–an apostle of cooperation, to use a key term of the new economy movement.
100 Years of Arizmendiarrieta Web
(Euskera) (English) (Castellano)